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The Sandringham Library. 

His Grace the Duke of Norfolk. 

His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G. 

The Most Honourable the Marquis of Cholmondeley. 

The Right Honourable the Earl of Powis. 

The Right Honourable the Earl of Orford. 

The Right Honourable the Earl of Effingham. 

The Right Honourable the Earl of Leicester, K.G. 

The Right Honourable the Earl of Rosebery. 

The Right Honourable the Lord Calthorpe. 

The Lord Edward Pelham-Clinton. 

W. Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst, Esq., M.P., Didlington Hall. 

The Reverend E. G. Arnold, Rector of Great Massingham. 

The Reverend E. J. Alvis, Vicar of East Winch. 

Sir Francis G. M. Boileau, Bart, Ketteringham Park. 

Lieut.-Colonel G. W. Boileau, Stanfield Hall. 

Lieut.-Colonel W. E. G. Lytton Bulwer, Quebec House, East 

Henry Birkbeck, Esq., Stoke Hall, Norwich. 
Major J. J. Bourchier, Felthorpe Hall. 


The Reverend W. C. Bourchier, Bayham Abbey, Lamberhiirst. 

R. C. Browne, Esq., Elsing Hall, East Dereham. 

The Reverend J. L. Brereton, Rector of Little Massingham. 

The Reverend Shovell Brereton, Rector of Briningham. 

R. M. Brereton, Esq., Norwich. 

E. M. Beloe, Esq., King's Lynn. 

Mr. William Burgh am. Little Massingham. 

The Master of Christ's College, Cambridge. 

The Warden of Cavendish College, Cambridge. 

The Library of the Corporation of the City of London. 

J. J. Colman, Esq., M.P., Carrow House, Norwich. 

Robert Cremer, Esq., Norwich. 

The Reverend W. W. Clarke, R.D., Rector of North Wootton. 

Major Childs, 3rd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers. 

Mrs. Ernest Dowson, The Camp, Belgaum, India. 

The Reverend G. Eller, Rector of West Winch. 

The Reverend H. Ffolkes, R.D., Rector of Hillington. 

G. B. Ffolkes, Esq., Congham Lodge. 

The Reverend W. Fowler, Vicar of Liversedge, Yorks. 

John Gurney, Esq., The Bank, Norwich. 

Horace A. Groom, Esq., Weasenham Hall. 

John Grant, Esq., Chelsea, London. 

The Very Reverend E. M. Goulburn, D.D., Dean of Norwich. 

Thomas L. Hare, Esq., Stow Hall, Downham. 

Anthony Hamond, Esq., South Acre, SwafTham. 

Robert Huggins, Esq., Port of Spain, Trinidad, W. I. 

Sir Willoughby Jones, Bart, Cranmer Hall, Sculthorpe. 

Sir Lewis Jarvis, Middleton Towers, King*s Lynn. 

The Reverend Herbert A. Jones, Andovoranto, Madagascar. 


The Reverend A. Jessopp, D.D., Rector of Seaming. 

The Reverend W. A. W.. Keppel, Lexham Hall, Swaffham. 

William Lenton, Esq., Hull. 

Assistant Commissary-General McLeod, Commissariat and Transport 

Thomas Eley Sykes, Esq., Hull. 
Hamon le Strange, Esq., Hunstanton Hall. 
The Reverend J. N. Simpkinson, Rector of North Creake. 
The Very Reverend Charles J. Vaughan, D.D., Dean of Llandaff, 

for the late Very Reverend Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., 

Dean of Westminster. 
The Reverend S. G. Read, Rector of Barton-Bendish St. Mary. 
Edward Todd, Esq., Buckley's, St. Kitts, W. I. 
Philip de Thierry, Esq., Notting Hill, London. 
William Walker, Esq., King's Lynn. 
Mrs. W^ALKER, King's Lynn. 
Edward Walker, Esq., King's Lynn. 
Arthur M. Wilson, Esq., Stowlangtoft Hall, Bury St. Edmunds. 



Pedigree of the Mordaunts of Massingham Parva xiv. 

The History of the Lords of the Manor 3 

Former Distinguished Residents in the Parish ....... 69 

Parochial Information 83 

St. Andrew's Church 97 

The Rectors of Massingham Parva 107 

Castle Acre Priory Manor, Massingham Magna 123 

St. Mary's Priory, Massingham Magna 131 

Creyke Abbey 137 

Births, Marriages, and Deaths from a.d. 1558 to a d. 1660 ... 141 




















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TVr OTHING is known of the history of the Iceni before the 
^ ^ invasion of Britain by the Roman forces under Aulus 
Plautius in a.d. 43. Notwithstanding that he was accompanied 
by four legions of veteran soldiers, and that his lieutenant was 
the distinguished Vespasian, assisted by his equally gifted son, 
it took Aulus Plautius seven years of hard fighting to subdue 
even the south of England. During several subsequent 
campaigns, the Iceni made heroic struggles to keep the 
invaders at bay, and to prevent their obtaining any permanent 
hold upon their territory ; but the contest was hopeless from 
the beginning, and, in the end, the superior discipline of the 
Roman arms prevailed, and Icenia was occupied and annexed. 
Recognising the fact that they were beaten, and that it was futile 
to continue the struggle, the Iceni, like a brave race, bowed 
to the inevitable, and turning the fierce energy of their nature 
into other channels, endeavoured to learn from their conquerors 



the arts of civilization and of peace. There was one remarkable 
and final exception to this acquiescence in their fate when 
the formidable insurrection under Boadicea broke out, which 
shook to its foundation the hold of Imperial Rome upon the 
island of Britain. With the advent of Julius Agricola came a 
period of rest and quiet, when the resources of the country 
underwent considerable development, aind great strides were 
made in the art of road-making, and in material prosperity 
generally. In the western portion of what is now the County 
of Norfolk, the Romans eventually founded two military 
stations of some importance, — the one at Brannodunum 
(Brancaster), the other at Sitomagus (Thetford). At an early 
date the north-east wind bore the cyules of the fair-haired 
Saxons from the islands of the Elbe to the eastern shores of 
Britain, whence they returned to their own country laden with 
spoil. In order to prevent these piratical raids, the Romans 
erected nine castles, at different points along the coast of 
Britain, from Brannodunum to Beachy Head. In some of 
these forts cavalry were quartered, and in others infantry, 
and the supreme command was vested in the Count of the 
Saxon Shore. A detachment of Dalmatian horse was stationed 
at Brannodunum, and, in order to keep up the communication 
with the inland military stations, a road was made from thence to 
Sitomagus. After skirting the Roman watch-toweron Bircham 
Heath, and passing the ancient barrows on Anmer Heath, 
this road — now called the Peddar's Way — descends sharply 
into the marsh at Harpley Dam, and, at the point of crossing the 
brooklet, divides into two parts. That part which lies on the 
left hand ascends a slight incline, and, after passing through the 
western end of Little Massingham Parish, crosses Massingham 
Heath, and makes for Castle Acre. Up this grass-grown, and, 



in parts, all but disused road, spurred, in eager haste, many a 
messenger with news from Rome; and, after the last Roman 
soldier had marched southwards in obedience to the call from the 
Capital for help, down it, doubtless, poured the wild sons of the 
Vikings, armed with battle-axe and sword, who laughed to scorn 
the fiercest gales of the northern seas, and who came to mingle 
bloods and help in founding a nation, whose restless energy 
has colonised every country under the sun. Years afterwards, 
this road echoed to the solemn tread of Edmund and his 
suite of cowled monks ; while, following, came the fierce, 
victorious Danes, burning and plundering in their course, till 
they were checked by the walls of the Capital of East Anglia. 
In A.D. 571, the kingdom of East Anglia was consolidated 
by the Saxon Uffa. After the death of his grandson Redwald, 
Erpenwald, who succeeded him, banished his half-brother 
Sigebert from the country, for apprehended, designs upon 
the Crown. This banishment was fraught with important 
consequences for East Anglia : for Sigebert, having retired to 
France, placed himself under the care of a Burgundian priest, 
named Felix, by whom he was instructed in, and baptized 
into, the Christian Faith. On the death of Erpenwald, 
Sigebert was elected to the throne of East Anglia, and 
sailed for England, in company with Felix. Felix, encouraged 
by the King, and filled with the enthusiasm of a noble cause, 
threw himself, with all the vigour of a great mind, into the work 
of publishing the Gospel to the people of East Anglia, and, 
for many years, he was a successful and beloved Evangelist 
and Bishop. It is not beyond the region of probability 
that he, who founded a Church not twelve miles distant 
from the spot where his feet first touched English soil, and 
who travelled far and wide throughout his adopted country 



inculcating religion, may, at some time (luring his pastoral 
wanderings, have visited Massingham and its neighbourhood, 
in order to publish the Good News of God to the scattered 
inhabitants that fed their swine on the grassy uplands. 

For nearly three hundred years, the history of East Anglia 
consists principally of internecine war ; and, at the end of that 
period, the Danes appeared upon the coast. For two hundred 
years, these fierce barbarians of the north were the terror and 
the scourge of the Saxons ; and ever when the Danish flag, 
bearing the representation of a Raven, was seen over the waves 
that beat towards England, it was the sure omen of burning 
dwelling-houses, of pillaged monasteries, and of a fugitive 
or slaughtered people. A contemporary writer pathetically 
describes the condition of the Angles. He says, ** Such is the 
Danes' valour that one of them will put ten of us to flight : two 
or three will drive a troop of captive Christians from sea to sea. 
The slave of yesterday becomes the master of his lord to-day. 
Soldiers, famine, flames and blood surround us. The poor are 
sold out of their land for foreign slavery. Children in their 
cradles are sold for slaves, by an atrocious violation of the law.'' 
The misery and wretchedness of the inhabitants of the land 
continued until the Monarch ascended the throne, of whom the 
Saxon poet sang : — 

" Here ended his earthly joys Edgar, England's King, 
And chose the light of another world, beauteous and happy : 
Here Edgar departed— the Ruler of the Angles, 
The Joy of the West Saxons, the Defender of the Mercians— 
That was known afar among many nations : 

Kings, beyond the baths of the sea-fowl, worshipped him, far and wide. 
They bowed to the King, as one of their own kin. 
There was no Fleet so proud, there was no Host so strong, 
As to seek food in England while this noble King ruled. 
He reared up God's House, he loved God's laws, 



He preserved the people's peace : the best of all the Kings 

That were before in the memory of man. 

And God was his helper ; and Kings and Earls bowed to him, 

And they obeyed his will ; and, without battle, 

He ruled as he willed." 

After the defeat of his army at Maldon, Ethelred the 
Unready, adopted the expedient of buying off the Danes with 
money. . To meet the demand thus made upon the Royal 
Treasury, it was proposed to assess every hundred in the 
Kingdom at a certain amount, and that every hundred should 
raise its proportion of the sum required by taxing every hide of 
land which lay within its limits. The price of Peace was raised 
successively from ten thousand to fifty thousand pounds 
weight of silver. This unpopular and humiliating tax 
continued long after the need for its existence had passed 
away, and, much to the joy of the population of England, it 
was finally abolished by Edward the Confessor. Little 
Massingham paid its contribution to this tax at the rate of 
eightpence for every twenty shillings' worth of land. 

In the reign of Edward the Confessor, Harold, Earl 
Godwin's son, owned a manor in Great Massingham, part 
of which extended into what is now Little Massingham. 
Another part of Little Massingham, and also the Manor 
of Anmer, were the property of a Saxon freeman, named 
Organ A very large estate extended from Hillington, 
through Congham and Grimston, into the western part of 
Little Massingham, and was the lordship of another freeman 
named Scula. 

Harold, Duke of the East Angles, was, at this time, not 
only the most powerful noble of East Anglia, but, also, next to 
his father, in the whole realm. Possessed of great courage and 



personal prowess, a man of brilliant and varied qualities, he had, 
by his courteous and generous bearing and his determined 
attitude towards the Prankish element at Court, become a 
great favourite with the people. 

After the riot which took place in the streets of Dover 
between the townsmen and the retainers of the Earl of 
Boulogne, Earl Godwin demanded of the King the punishment 
of the assailants, and, on his request being refused, took up 
arms. Harold espoused his fathers cause and enrolled 
a large body of East Anglian soldiers for his assistance ; but 
having been summoned by Edward to London, and expressly 
warned to appear with no larger a retinue than twelve, he was 
there compelled to resign his lands into the King's hands, and 
to promise to disband his soldiers. On quitting London, 
Harold made direct for the coast, and, taking ship, sailed for 
Ireland. Immediately the news of his flight reached the 
Court, a sentence of outlawry was pronounced against him, 
and the tide of Duke of East Anglia, and also the major 
part of his estates, were conferred by the King upon a 
courtier named Alfgar, When Harold returned to England 
and obtained Edward's pardon, his estates were restored to 
him. In recognition of Alfgar s care of them during his exile, 
and of his willing restitution of them on his return, Harold 
surrendered to him the Dukedom of East Anglia, together 
with all his lands and his rights in the city of Thetford. 

For some years after the death of Harold at Hastings, 
West Norfolk enjoyed its independence ; and Orgar and Scula, 
among the thanes and ceorls of the County, acknowledged 
no superior, paid no tribute, and continued to manage 
their estates and govern their vassals according to the 
example of immemorial custom. But when the Conqueror s 



ships appeared in the Wash, and William himself was 
marching at the head of his forces from Cambridge to Ely, 
in order to storm Here ward's impregnable natural fortress, the 
day of independence for the Saxon gentlemen of West Norfolk 
was drawing to a close. With the treacherous betrayal of 
Hereward, their last hope of immunity from foreign oppression 
disappeared, and William's soldiers soon after burst into the 
County, plundering and firing homesteads as they went, and 
putting to the sword all who dared withstand them. 

As a reward for his services, William bestowed upon Eudo, 
the son of Spiruwin, the Barony ofTateshale in Lincolnshire. 
There this lord and his descendants settled, taking their 
surname from the estate. William, also, gave to Eudo the 
lands of Scula in Hillington, Grimston, Congham, and Little 
Massingham, which were known afterwards as the Tateshale 
Manor. Scula's property in Little Massingham, at the time of 
the Survey, consisted of ** three carucates of land, to which were 
annexed in the Confessor s time eight villeins (at the Survey 
only seven) and one slatve. There were two carucates of land 
in demain, and one carucate among the tenants. There were 
five swine and forty sheep, and the annual value was twenty 
shillings. Bervald, at the Survey, held this land under Eudo.*' 

Eudo's Manor of Tateshale in Norfolk became divided in 
the course of time, and his lands in Little Massingham and 
in Congham were eventually consolidated into an estate called 
Petegars. This estate, about a.d. 1302, passed into the 
possession of Sir John de Thorp, by right of his wife, Alice, 
the relict of Sir William Mortimer ; and, for two generations, it 
remained with his descendants. By this marriage the two 
lordships of Little Massingham, as will be seen hereafter, passed 
into the possession of one owner for a time. The De Thorpes, 



eventually, alienated Petegars' estate to the Le Stranges of 
Hunstanton, and Henry le Strange died seized of it in 
A.D. 1483. The separated lands of Little Massingham were 
again united and owned by one lord in the sixteenth century, 
by the marriage of Robert Mordaunt with the heiress, 
Barbara le Strange. 

The Massingham demesne of the late King Harold, William 
the Conqueror divided into two parts : that portion which 
lay in Great Massingham he retained for his own use; 
the remainder he attached to the lands of Orgar in Litde 
Massingham, and conferred them (together with Anmer and 
other estates) upon his great ally, Eustace, Count of Boulogne. 
The entry of this latter property in the Domesday Book is as 
follows : ** In the time of the Confessor there were four 
carucates of land, to which five villeins and five borderers were 
annexed, and two acres of meadow. At that time there were 
two carucates in demain, but at the Survey three. There 
was always one carucate divided among the freemen, and the 
fourth part of a salt-pit. One socman belonged to the estate, 
who held twelve acres, and in the Confessor's time twenty- 
four sheep, but, at the Survey, two hundred and sixty, and 
twenty-three swine. In the Confessor's time the yearly 
value was twenty shillings, at the Survey it was fifty. 
There were twenty socmen of Harold's in Massingham who 
had two-and-a-half carucates of land; and five borderers. In 
the Confessor's time, and afterwards, there were six carucates 
of land, but, at the Survey, only three, the annual value of which 
was fifty shillings. All these were delivered to Eustace as 
Harold held them, and, at the Survey, Wido Angevin held 
them under him. The total length was one leuca, and the 
breadth half a leuca." 



In August, A.D. 1086, William the Conqueror, in order to 
confirm his primary and sovereign rights over every estate in 
the kingdom, convened at Salisbury an assembly of the great 
churchmen, the barons, and other landowners of the realm. 
There Eudo and Eustace, Wido Angevin and Bervald, with 
others, sub -tenants as well as the tenants in capite, were 
compelled to take the oath of fealty to the King as Lord 
Paramount of all. 

Eustace, lord of Little Massiftgham, was a person of high birth 
and great power, and a descendant of the famous Charlemagne, 
King of France, and the first Emperor of Germany. He 
was Earl of Boulogne, Guisnes and Terouenne, and sailed 
with William, as one of his most powerful allies, to the invasion 
of England. His boldness decided the victory at Hastings, 
which, for a time, hung in the balance. Some months afterwards, 
. this ambitious Baron, aiming at the extension of his influence 
in the kingdom, attempted, in concert with the native chieftains 
of Kent, to seize Dover Castle. This act of treason drew down 
upon him William's severe displeasure, and for a time, he was 
out of favour at Court. But his great influence and power 
made Eustace a most formidable baron, and William deemed 
it a matter of policy to effect a reconciliation, and to try and 
retain his allegiance, rather than his ill-will. 

By his wife Itta, the sister of Godfrey, Duke of Brabant, 
Earl Eustace had four sons, of whom the eldest, Godfrey of 
Bouillon, was esteemed the best soldier and the most virtuous 
gentleman of the age in which he lived. The conquest of the 
Holy Land being made under his conduct, he was chosen, in 
preference to all other princes who engaged in that enterprise, 
to be the first Christian King of Jerusalem. Baldwin and 
Eustace, his brothers, partook with him the honour of the 



Crusades. At their conclusion, Eustace returned to Boulogne, 
the earldom of which he governed wisely and well. Baldwin, 
however, remained in the East, where he was first made Earl 
of Edessa, and then, on the death of Godfrey, King of 
Jerusalem. He ruled with vicissitudes of good and bad fortune, 
but with such a constant magnanimity, that his renown was 
almost equal to that of his brother. At the decease of Baldwin, 
it was proposed to offer the Crown to Eustace, and an embassy 
was despatched inviting him to come and receive it. In 
answer to the summons, Eustace journeyed as far as Apulia, 
but hearing there that in the meanwhile his cousin, Baldwin de 
Burg, had been elected King of Jerusalem, he renounced his 
pretentions rather than incite to a civil war, and returned to his 
country. His only child, Matilda, married Stephen, King of 
England, to whom she brought not only the earldom of 
Boulogne, and an alliance from her mother with the English and 
Scotch blood royal, but, also, the high character and the lofty 
spirit which she inherited from her father. 

The family of Wido Angevin, into whose care Count 
Eustace delivered his lands in Little Massingham and 
elsewhere, in return for the rendering of certain services of a 
feudal character, appears to have setded in England before the 
Conquest. Osmund the Angevin, the brother or kinsman of 
Wido, held a grant of the manor of Witham and of forty acres 
of wood, which had been made to him by Edward the Confessor. 
After entering into the possession of Earl Eustace's lands, 
Wido Angevin seems to have chosen Little Massingham for 
his favourite residence. Here, likewise, his son Roger dwelt, 
taking, as was customary among the Normans, the name of 
Roger de Massingham Parva from the property. Roger s son 
Robert, who for a time was distinguished by the surname 



Fitz- Roger, afterwards changed it to de Thorpe on account of 
the estate which he owned near Wymondham. His descendants 
used indifferently the surname of de Massingham and de 
Thorpe until the time of Sir Edmund, when the surname de 
Thorpe became fixed and inheritable. 

William, the first Earl of Warren and of Surrey, soon after 
entering into the possession of his extensive Norfolk estates, 
founded a Priory for Cluniac monks at Castle Acre, as a 
branch establishment to that founded by him at in 
Sussex. The neighbouring landowners readily came forward 
to assist in its endowment, fired with the desire that the 
House might be, not only a centre of religious influence for 
the neighbourhood, but, also, worthy to bear the names of the 
High God, Mary the Virgin, Peter and Paul. Amongst other 
benefactors, Sir Robert de Thorpe bestowed upon the Priory 
ten acres of land in Little Massingham, to which his son 
Hugh added, afterwards, five acres more. 

Sir Hugh de Thorpe's son and heir, Sir John, married 
Margery, the daughter of Sir Robert de Creyke, Lord of North 
Creyke-and of Hillington, and by this marriage Sir John's 
grandson added these estates to those already in the possession 
of the family. Sir John died during the reign of Henry IH. 
His son, Sir Robert Fitz- John de Thorpe, was made one of the 
resident Barons of the Exchequer in a.d. i 236; and, during the 
Civil War, notwithstanding the influence exerted in the County 
by the presence of the Barons' fortified camp at Ely, he 
remained firm in his allegiance to King Henry. 

*' In Saxon times although no man was allowed to kill or 
chase the King'§ deer, yet he might start any game, pursue 
or kill it on his own estate ; but the rigour of the Forest 
Laws of William L vested the sole property of all game in 



England in the King alone, and no man was entitled to dis- 
turb any fowl of the air or beast of the field, of such kinds as 
were specially reserved for the amusement of the Sovereign, 
without express license. from the King by grant of a chase 
or free-warren/' A confirmation of this latter license for 
Little Massingham was obtained from Henry III. by Sir Robert 
in A.D. 1266. Five years afterwards, Sir Robert erected a 
gallows at Thorpe for the purpose of hanging the poachers 
caught upon his estate. For this illegal erection, the Baron of 
the Exchequer was sued at law, and judgment given against 
him, on the ground that the manor of Thorpe never had the 
right of making such an erection. He was thereupon ordered to 
remove it. Sir Robert was appointed Sheriff of Norfolk and 
Suffolk in A.D. 1282. In a.d. 1294 he was still alive, having 
in conjunction with Maud, his wife, executed a deed of exchange 
of property, but died soon after, at about the age of eighty. 

Sir John, his son, inherited, through his grandmother, the 
lands of North Creyke and of Quarles, as well as Netherhall 
Manor in Hillington. He, also, had a life interest in Gayton 
Thorpe ; and by his second marriage, with the widow of Sir 
William Mortimer (who was taken prisoner by the French 
during the Earl of Lincoln^s attempt to raise the siege of 
Bellegarde and conveyed to Paris, where he died) he came into 
the possession of the Manor of Petegars, comprising land in 
Congham and Little Massingham. Sir John Ash well and his 
brother, the priest of Massingham Parva, being desirous of 
selling the Manor of Ashwell, which joined that of Thorpe, Sir 
John de Thorpe purchased it, and since this time the combined 
manors have borne the name of Ashwell-Thorpe. The family 
of de Thorpe, possessing as it did both extensive estates 
and remarkable talents, had now become possessed not only of 



great influence in the County, but also of a voice in the 
Councils of their Sovereign and in the administration of the 
affairs of his kingdom. 

When Edward I., stung to the quick by the cunning of Philip 
of France in duping him out of the Duchy of Aquitaine, 
determined to avenge his wounded feelings by an invasion of 
France, writs were issued to the nobles of the kingdom, 
commanding them to meet the King at Portsmouth on the ist 
September, a.d. 1293, each with his contingent of horses, men, 
and arms. Amongst those who obeyed the royal mandate were 
Sir John de Thorpe, and the husband of her who was to be his 
second wife, Sir William Mortimer of Attleburgh. The sudden 
outbreak of disaffection in Wales, and the pronounced hostility 
of the Scots, compelled Edward, reluctantly, to relinquish his 
contemplated invasion of France. He accordingly marched 
his army northwards into Scotland, where he led them from 
victory to victory, until, having crushed the Scottish resistance 
and captured John Baliol, he returned in triumph to London 
and disbanded his soldiers. When the* news of Robert Bruce's 
escape from London, and of his crowning at Scone, startled all 
England, Edward hastily summoned another army to the field. 
To Sir John de Thorpe in Norfolk was despatched a letter 
ordering him to meet the King in the north " with his whole 
service of horse and arms." The sudden death of Edward, when 
about to move his troops forward, altered entirely the prospect 
of the campaign. Notwithstanding his stern instructions that 
** the flesh should be boiled off" his bones, in order that they 
might be carried with the army to Scotland/' Edward IL dis- 
banded his father s forces almost immediately after his accession. 

Sir John de Thorpe, in a.d. 131 i, founded at Ashwell a 
Chantry Chapel in honour of St. Mary the Virgin, the chaplain 



to which was to say Mass daily for the souls of his ancestors, 
and to pray for the welfare of him and of his wife. Jeffrey Kemp, 
rector of Little Massingham, was the third chaplain appointed 
to the office, after the erection and consecration of the chapel. 

Four years afterwards Sir John was nominated to the office of 
High Sheriff of the combined counties of Norfolk and Suffolk ; 
but, being reluctant to accept the office, he obtained his release 
from serving by urging the corporeal infirmities under which he 
was labouring. He, in concert with Sir Edmund Bacon, was 
appointed an ambassador to treat of and assent to a marriage 
between Joan, the daughter of Edward II., and Alphonso, the 
eldest son of the King of Arragon. When the civil war broke 
out between Edward II. and his barons, in consequence of the 
Kings refusal to dismiss his favourite Le Despenser from power, 
Sir John declared for his Sovereign. Thereupon a Commission 
was issued to him, together with Thomas, Lord Bardolph of 
Wormegay Castle, and Sir John Howard of East Winch (an 
ancestor of the noble and illustrious family of Howard, Dukes 
of Norfolk), authorising them to array the county of Norfolk, 
and to seize upon and imprison any persons who should 
attempt to rise against the King. The next year, Sir John de 
Thorpe and Lord Bardolph were appointed Wardens of the 
ports of Norfolk, with orders to use extraordinary care and 
vigilance for the protection of the ports, and to endeavour to 
repel, with all the force of which they were capable, any of the 
attacks which it was apprehended the Flemings and the Scots 
would make. Certain defalcations having been discovered in 
the accounts rendered by some of the collectors of taxes in 
the realm, it was decided by the Government to institute a 
searching inquiry into the matter. One of the four knights 
appointed a King's Justice for this purpose was Sir John de 



Thorpe, but he died before the investigation was completed, 
on the 1 6th May, a.d, 1323. 

By his first wife, Agnes, Sir John de Thorpe had a son 
Robert, who was about thirty years of age at his father's 
decease. It is unknown what part Sir Robert took in the landing 
of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer on the coast of Suffolk 
in A.D. 1326, and in their subsequent successes, but he lived 
long enough to see the balance of power in the kingdom 
restored, and Isabella confined as a prisoner at large on the 
neighbouring manor of Rysing, while her paramour hung in 
chains at Tyburn. Sir Robert de Thorpe married Beatrix, the 
daughter of Sir Edmund de H engrave, and died at the close of 
A.D. 1330, leaving behind him three sons, John, Edmund, and 
Robert, the eldest of whom was only fifteen years of age. The 
guardianship of the heir was entrusted to Sir John de Clavering; 
but the Lady Beatrix, with his consent, retired with her three 
sons to Massingham Parva for the purpose of superintending 
their education. Sir John, the eldest, was brought up to the 
profession of arms : Edmund and Robert to that of the law. 
Robert attained to the highest dignity of his profession. He was 
made, successively, one of the King s Judges, Chief Justice of 
the Courtof Common Pleas, Chief Justiceof the Court of King's 
Bench, and finally, in a.d. 1372, Lord Chancellor of England. 
According to the Issue Roll of Thomas de Brantingham, he 
received yearly the sum of ^40 for his fee as Chief Justice of 
the King's Bench. The immediate kinsman of Robert de 
Thorpe — Sir William de Thorpe — who was also a judge, came 
to an ignoble end. While presiding as Chief Justice of the 
Court of King*s Bench the latter was convicted of the crime of 
receiving a bribe of ^20 in order to pervert the ends of 
justice, and was sentenced to be hung. 



Soon after attaining his majority, Sir John de Thorpe married 
Joan, the daughter and heiress of Roger- atte- Ashe ; but war 
with France breaking out almost immediately, he was 
summoned to the field. Before leaving England, he appointed 
his kinsman, Sir George de Thorpe, and another, his attorneys, 
to manage his estates, and present to the livings in his gift 
during his absence. Catherine, the widow of Sir John de 
Ingham, being desirous of taking the veil and retiring to the 
Convent of the Minories, London, Sir John de Thorpe, in order 
to facilitate the carrying out of her wishes, granted to the 
Abbess of the nuns of Clare, and to her successors, an annuity 
of twenty marks, payable out of his lands at Congham, and 
another annuity, of like value, out of his lands in Suffolk. 
Having embarked with the King's army, he took part in the 
subsequent ridiculous military promenade which culminated in 
the mock battle of Vironfosse, where the two armies of France 
and of England, after facing each other for several days, and 
despatching to each other messages of mortal defiance, at length 
marched away in opposite directions without striking a blow. 
Sir John de Thorpe died the year following, a.d. 1340, without 
male issue, leaving his estates to Joan, his wife, for life, with 
remainder to his brother, Edmund. His only daughter, Beatrix, 
married William Hovell, of Rishanger, Suffolk, an ancestor of 
the Hovells of Hillington Hall. 

Five years after the death of her first husband, the Lady Joan 
de Thorpe married Sir Roger le Strange, of Hunstanton. On 
her decease, Sir Edmund de Thorpe succeeded to his brother's 
property. The abilities of Sir Edmund, which had raised him 
to the dignity of one of the King s Judges, were overshadowed 
by the possession of a selfish, cruel, and prodigal disposition. 
After having loaded himself with debt, he commenced a 



suit to try and prove Joan his wife to be a bastard; but the 
case fell through on the testimony of Bishop Bateman, who 
certified that she was legitimate and the heiress of Robert 
Baynard. On the strength of this latter testimony, the manors 
of Colkirk, Bathele, and Gateley were made over to his wife. 
In A.D. 1358, being again in want of money, Sir Edmund 
mortgaged his estates for a period of twenty-one years, raising 
thereby the annual sum of one hundred marks for himself, and a 
like sum for each of his two daughters. Seven years after, the 
manor of Little Massingham was delivered to William de Bergh, 
rector of Cantele, by Sir Edmund's attorneys; and in a.d. 1380, 
the former mortgage having come to an end, Sir Edmund 
enfeoffed Robert de Thirning, rector of Combes, and Thomas 
de Bumpstede, a citizen of Norwich, with his manor of Little 
Massingham and others. By this deed he settled his manors 
on his sons and others, retaining for himself an annuity of one 
hundred marks. 

In A.D. 1370, Sir Edmund de Thorpe was made High Sheriff 
of Norfolk and Suffolk. In the Issue Roll for that year are 
recorded several payments to messengers for carrying letters 
to him from the King on public business. In Lynn, at that time, 
municipal and ecclesiastical affairs were in an unsatisfactory 
state. The " bishop's man,'' as his power increased, refused 
to acknowledge that he was the bishop's servant. The 
over-sensitiveness of control on the ♦part of the Mayor, and 
the keen desire of the Bishop to be the dominant power in the 
town, led, naturally, to much heart-burning and irritation between 
the two, and this feeling more than once found an expression in 
deeds of hostility, which called for the investigation of Sir 
Edmund de Thorpe. In a.d. 1377, he received an order from 
the King to adjudicate upon a quarrel which had broken out 



between Henry, Bishop of Norwich, and the townsmen of Lynn. 
A few years later a more serious breach of the peace took place. 
By injudiciously insisting on a point of etiquette, when he and 
his retinue met the Mayor and his followers in the streets of 
Lynn, the fiery soldier-bishop Spencer set the town in a blaze. 
An angry passage of words soon led to the drawing of swords, 
and the townsmen, enraged at the fancied insult put upon their 
representative, gathered in their numbers, and, falling upon the 
Bishop's party, drove them in confusion out of the East Gate. 
During the lifetime of Sir Edmund de Thorpe, a relative, if 
not his brother's son, was actively engaged in forwarding 
from Winchelsea supplies to the English army in France. 
John de Thorpe was by profession a priest, but by taste and 
associations a soldier. While Edward III. was absent in France 
with his army, the French determined to execute a counter- 
stroke by making a descent upon Winchelsea, where the King 
had established his base of supplies and his transport station. 
One morning, while the people of Winchelsea were attending 
High Mass in the Parish Church, a fleet of ships with 3,000 
men suddenly appeared off the harbour. Quietly landing their 
men, the French hastened through the almost deserted streets 
to the Church, and, surrounding it before the alarm had been 
given, slaughtered the congregation as it attempted to make 
its escape. The town was then pillaged and burnt. During the 
course of the day, succour arrived by sea from Rye, but on 
entering the harbour, by some mishap, the greater portion of 
the relief was drowned. After spending a day and a night 
in the town, the French set sail in triumph, carrying with them 
the fairest of the women, an abundance of plunder, and thirteen 
ships containing wine and provisions destined for the King's 
army. John de Thorpe was in Winchelsea during this raid, 



and, for the loss and damage he sustained, was paid out of the 
Royal Exchequer the sum of £6. 13s. 4d. In a.d. 1367, 
John de Thorpe was despatched to Berwick-on-Tweed in 
order to receive the ransom of the King of Scots. In the 
summer of a.d. 1370, Winchelsea was again alive with 
active preparations for another expedition to France. As 
the King's fleet was inconsiderable and insufficient for 
the purpose, orders were issued to the various admirals 
throughout the kingdom, authorising them to seize upon all 
suitable ships that might be lying in any of the ports within 
their jurisdiction, and to send them round to Winchelsea. By 
this means, sufficient transport was provided for carrying to 
France the 8,000 cavalry, besides footmen and archers, who lay 
encamped outside the walls of Winchelsea. The embarkation 
was superintended by Sir Robert KnoUes and Admiral 
Lord de Nevil, and, the day before the fleet sailed, John de 
Thorpe arrived with ;^4,ooo wherewith to defray the cost of 
the expedition. 

For his services to the State, John de Thorpe was awarded 
an annual pension of ^20, which was only to continue, 
however, until the King had been able to provide him with 
an ecclesiastical benefice of an equivalent value. John de 
Thorpe was next promoted to the office of Keeper of the 
King s Exchange in the Tower of London ; and, in a.d. 
1 39 1, Thomas de Morley, Marshal of Ireland, presented him to 
one of the livings in his gift in Norfolk. 

Two years after this, Sir Edmund de Thorpe died, leaving 
behind him three sons and two daughters. To Edmund, his 
eldest son, he bequeathed all his goods in his Manor House at 
Litde Massingham, together with the charter or murrey cup, 
the heir-loom of the family. He, also, left legacies to his 


tenants in Little Massingham, and an order for the payment 
of five marks to whomsoever should undertake for him a 
pilgrimage to St. James the Apostle. Sir Edmund lies buried 
in the chancel of Ashwell-Thorpe Church. 

Thomas, his youngest son, was appointed Speaker of the 
House of Commons in A.D. 1452. Joan, one of his daughters, 
married Guy Corbet, lord of Dunham Parva and Assington. 
His eldest son was married in Ashwell-Thorpe Church on 
October 6th, a.d. 1368, by Sir Jeffrey de Massingham, rector, to 
Margaret de la Riv^re, in the presence of Sir Edmund, Dame 
Joan, his wife, and a brilliant company. Sir Edmund the 
younger's second wife was Joan, the widow of Roger, Lord 
Scales, of Middleton Castle and Newcells. When the spirit 
of insurrection, which arose in Kent, a.d. 1381, spread into 
the eastern counties, Lord Scales was seized by the rebel 
leaders. He afterwards accompanied Richard IL in his 
expedition to Scotland, and was present at the sacking and 
burning of Edinburgh. The next year he embarked in the 
costly and fruitless expedition of the Duke of Lancaster to 
obtain the crown of Castile. Lord Scales died in a.d. 1387; 
and only a few months after Sir Edmund de Thorpe, without 
waiting for the royal license, married his widow. For this 
offence he was fined the sum of ;^20. By this marriage 
Sir Edmund became, temporarily, the owner of Middleton 
Castle, the young Lord Scales being at the time only a lad 
of fourteen years of age. 

Richard II. having imprudendy quitted England at a critical 
period, in order to punish the Irish rebels for the death of his 
kinsman the Earl of March, Henry, Earl of Hereford, took 
advantage of the favourable opportunity, and, having landed at 
Ravenspur, was soon joined by the chief noblemen and 



gentlemen of the kingdom. He then marched upon London, 
seized upon the royal treasure, and, having summoned a 
parliament, obtained from it the requisite authority for the 
deposition of Richard and the proclamation of himself as 
King, under the title of Henry IV. In the list of the barons 
of parliament who afterwards voted for the safe custody of 
the dethroned King, occurs the name of Sir Edmund's step- 
son, the young Lord Scales. 

The De Thorpes had been for generations firm in their 
allegiance to the House of Plantagenet, and it may have been 
political necessity or a scrupulous conscience which induced 
Sir Edmund to leave England when the fortunes of that 
House decayed. In a.d. 1399, after making his will, by which 
he bequeathed the manor of Little Massingham to his wife 
for life, if it should fall into his hands, he sailed for France, 
and is next heard of at Bordeaux. 

Henry V., in order to prevent domestic troubles, determined 
to provide a field of exercise for the restless but vigorous 
energy of his subjects by espousing the cause of the Duke 
of Burgundy against his cousin, the Duke of Orleans. Sir 
Edmund de Thorpe obeyed the King*s summons to join his 
forces, and so won Henry's heart by his gallant and wise 
conduct, that, in a.d, 141 7, he and John Nevill and John 
Kempe, ll.d. (afterwards the cardinal archbishop), were 
despatched as the Royal Envoys to the Duke of Burgundy, 
to treat of, and compose, all differences between him and the 
King. Sir Edmund accompanied Henry when he sailed 
out of Southampton Water with 30,000 men for the 
purpose of renewing the invasion of France ; but he and 
his wife's grandson, Robert, Lord Scales, a young man of 
barely twenty summers, fell mortally wounded at the siege 



of the Castle of Louviers soon after landing. Sir Edmund's 
body was brought to England and laid in Ash well-Thorpe 
Church beside that of his wife, Joan, who had sickened and 
died three years before, while England was ringing with the 
news of the victory at Agincourt. 

Lady Joan de Thorpe became the mother of a son and a 
daughter by her first husband, Roger, Lord Scales ; by 
her second, she had two daughters. By his will Sir Edmund 
de Thorpe bequeathed the Thorpe and Massingham estates to 
Joan, his elder daughter, with a reversion to her sister, Isabel, 
in the event of her leaving no issue. His wife, by her will, left 
her two manors of Stonhall Aspall in Suffolk, and Witlesford 
in Cambridgeshire, to her son Robert, Lord Scales, with 
remainder to her daughter. Lady Catherine Savage, the wife 
of Sir Arnold Savage, with remainder to her two daughters 
by Sir Edmund de Thorpe. Her manor of Cowling she 
bequeathed to Joan de Thorpe ; while ;^20 were to be 
expended in the erection of a suitable tomb for herself. 

Sir Edmund's eldest daughter, Joan, was thrice married. 
By her two first husbands — Sir Robert Caily and Sir Robert 
Echingham, Kt. — she had no children. By Sir John Clifton, 
Kt., of Buckenham Castle, she had an only daughter, 
Margaret, who married eventually the famous soldier Sir 
Andrew Ogard, of the Rye, Hertfordshire. Margaret Ogard 
died childless, and was buried by her husband in the Church of 
St. Mary's Priory, Wymondham, where he also was interred 
in A.D. 1454. Sir John Clifton was buried in the same spot, 
A.D. 1447, and his wife also, shortly afterwards. By his will. 
Sir John Clifton left to the Prior **the sum of ;^io for ever 
in order to find a monk to sing for the soul of himself and of 
his wife." 



Isabel de Thorpe, who had married Philip Tilney, of Boston, 
Lincolnshire, seems to have obtained possession of the manor 
of Little Massingham sometime before her sister's death. 
The Tilneys were so called from an estate anciently 
belonging to the family in Marshland. Tradition relates that 
the founder of the House was one Frederick Tilney, a man 
who, like the legendary Hickifric of Tilney, was of great stature 
and remarkable physical power; and that he accompanied 
Richard I . to the war in Palestine, and, for his valour at the 
siege of Acre, was knighted by his sovereign. He died 
at length peacefully in bed at home, and was buried in the 
Church of St. John's, Terrington. 

In A.D. 1432, Philip Tilney and Isabel, his- wife, conjointly, 
mortgaged the lordship of Little Massingham and that of 
North Creyke to Charles AUeyn, rector of North Creyke, 
for a period of six years, for the sum of two hundred and 
twenty marks. Four years afterwards Isabel died, and was 
buried in Ashwell-Thorpe <3hurch, and over her remains was 
placed the following inscription : — 

** Hie jacet Isabella que fuit uxor Philippi Tylney, Armigeri, una 
filiarum et hseredum Edmundi Thorp, Militis, et Domine Johanne 
quondam Domine de Scales consortis sue que obiit decimo die mensis 
Novembris, anno Domini mccccxxxvt. Cujus anime propitietur 
Deus. Amen. " 

Overcome with grief at the loss of his wife, Philip Tilney 
retired from the world and became a secular canon of 
Lincoln Cathedral. Amid the devotions of a religious life, 
he passed away to his rest in October, a.d. 1453. His body 
was interred with due solemnity in the Cathedral Church 
of Lincoln, and on his tomb was inscribed the quaint 
epitaph : — 



Passed the pilgrimage of this present life, 

Resteth Sir Philip Tilney, closed in your sight : 

In his youth Esquire, and so wedded to his wife, 

The daughter and heir of Edmund Thorp, Knight, 

And aunt to Thomas, Lord Scales, descended of line right. 

Disposed him after to God*s ordinance 

Couth none find in him matter of displeasaunce : 

Here he lieth buried, Canon and Residentiary, 

Sometime of Patrimony sufficient in deed : 

But Death, that from her nature cannot vary. 

Hath seized him by force — and we must all succeed. 

Consider here a carrion worms to feed, 

And pray for his soul of pain to have a lysse, 

And do for him as thou wouldest he did at thy need — 

Now Jesu, for Thy Passion, bring him to Thy bliss. *' 

Sir Philip Tilney left a son, Frederick, who married 
Elizabeth, the widow of Sir John Say. By her, Frederick Tilney 
had an only daughter, who was quite a child at his death. In 
accordance with the law of the feudal system, John Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk, claimed the wardship of Elizabeth Tilney, by 
right of his superior lordship over certain of her lands. By 
this means he obtained the power of controlling her marriage, 
in order that he might obtain for himself, in the person of 
her husband, a sufficient and trustworthy vassal. During her 
minority, the care of Little Massingham and of other of her 
estates was placed in the hands of Sir John Bourchier, a 
connection by marriage of the Duke of Norfolk. 

The family of Bourchier was one of the most ancient in the 
kingdom, and the branch of it at present under notice was 
peculiarly successful both in its pursuits and in its connections. 
William Bourchier, the father of Sir John, married the grand- 
daughter of Edward III., by whom he became the father 
of five children, all of whom were distinguished in English 
history, either by their abilities or by their alliance with 



noble houses. For his services in the French wars, and 
particularly at the siege of Dieppe, Henry V. created William 
Bourchier, Count of Eux, in Normandy. 

Henry, the eldest son of the Count of Eux, was made 
Lord Treasurer of England. Having sided with the House 
of York in the War of the Roses, he became a great favourite 
with Richard, Duke of York, who gave him to wife, 
Elizabeth, the sister of the Queen of Edward IV., '*in the 
firme hope and suer confidence that he and his generacion 
should be a perpetuall aide to the Duke and his sequele, 
as well in prosperitie as adversitie, and associate together 
in all chances of fortune." Henry Bourchier fought for 
the Yorkist cause in several of the battles of the Civil 
War, and, on the accession of Edward IV., was created 
Earl of Essex. 

Henry's brother, Thomas, became Lord Chancellor and 
Archbishop of Canterbury. He held the latter office during 
the reigns of five successive Kings, Henry VII. being the 
last sovereign upon whose head he placed the crown of 
England. Shakespeare makes Cardinal Bourchier promise 
to undertake the task of decoying the young Duke of York, 
Edward's son, from his mother's arms and Sanctuary at 
Westminster, the sequel to which was the murder of him 
and his brother in the Tower. Archbishop Bourchier 
deserves, however, to be best remembered for his services 
in promoting the introduction of the printing-press into 
England. By his persuasions, Henry VI. was induced to 
send Turnour and Caxton to the Continent, in the guise of 
merchants, in order that they might acquire a knowledge 
of the art of printing. They accomplished their mission with 
great difficulty, and, on their return to England, Caxton set up 



his first printing-press on the spot now occupied by the 
Westminster- Palace Hotel. 

Sir John Bourchier, temporarily lord of Little Massingham, 
was the youngest son of the Count of Eux, In early life he 
enthusiastically attached himself to the fortunes of the 
House of Lancaster, and, after the first Battle of St. Albans, 
he was made a Knight of the Garter by Henry VL Family 
considerations, or other causes, induced him, afterwards, to 
change sides. On the accession of Edward IV. to the 
throne, he was appointed Constable of Windsor Castle and 
Warden of the Parks and Forests. The remembrance of 
his term of office is still perpetuated at Windsor in the name 
of one of the Castle Towers. 

During the temporary flight of Edward from the kingdom, 
Sir John Bourchier was deprived of the Constableship by the 
Lancastrians, and fled into sanctuary ; but, on the return of 
Edward, he was reinstated in his post, which he held until 
his death, i6th May, a.d. 1474. According to his desire, his 
body was interred in the Chapel of the Holy Rood, in St. 
Peter*s Monastery, at Chertsey. Sir John Bourchier married 
Margaret, the daughter and sole heiress of Richard, Lord 
Berners, and, on ' the death of his father-in-law, he was 
summoned to Parliament as Lord Berners. Being desirous 
of retaining in his family the de Thorpe estates, John, Lord 
Berners, with the consent of the Duke of Norfolk, arranged 
a marriage between his son, Humphrey Bourchier, and the 
orphan heiress, Elizabeth Tilney. 

Humphrey Bourchier was a courtier of Edward IV., and, 
like his father, stood high in the graces of his sovereign. 
At Edward's coronation, he was made a Knight of the Bath. 
Nine years later, the King's mind was thrown into a state of 



consternation by the news that the Duke of Warwick 
had effected a landing on the coast of England : that 
he had proclaimed the dethroned Henry as King, and 
that, without difficulty, he was raising an enormous army 
wherewith to support his monarch's cause. Edward 
immediately despatched letters to his nobles summoning them 
to arms, but so small a number replied to the command, that, 
deeming resistance to be a hopeless task for the present, he 
decided to quit the realm. With a company of only eight 
hundred followers, amongst whom were his brother, the Duke 
of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, Lord Scales, and Sir Humphrey 
Bourchier, Edward hastened from Lincolnshire to Lynn, where 
he took shelter in the Red Mount, while his friends were busy 
making preparations for his escape abroad. Having found 
in the port an English ship and two hulks of Holland ready 
to sail, the King and his suite embarked, and, amid the 
regrets of those who watched them from the shore, the 
vessels weighed their anchors, and, slipping down the river, 
were soon in the open sea. The next year matters were 
ripe for Edward's return. Failing to effect a landing in 
Norfolk, he turned his vessels* heads northwards and 
disembarked on the coast of Yorkshire. His partisans 
flocked to his standard, and, at the head of fifteen hundred 
men, he commenced his march towards London, daily 
receiving fresh accessions of strength, until his army had 
swelled to sixty thousand. The Duke of Warwick, however, 
was hovering in his rear with a formidable array. In order to 
decide the contest, Edward marched out of London and gave 
him battle at Barnet. Between four and five o'clock on Easter 
morning, notwithstanding the thick haze, the King advanced 
his banners, and caused the trumpets to sound to the battle. 



For three hours both sides fought with obstinate valour, and 
the victory remained undecided between them; but an accident 
threw the balance to the side of the Yorkists. Edward's 
cognizance was a sun, that of Warwick a star with rays ; and 
the mistiness of the spring morning rendering it difficult to 
distinguish between them, the Earl of Oxford, who fought 
on the side of the Lancastrians, was, by mistake, attacked by 
his friends and chased off the field of battle. Amongst the 
illustrious dead left upon that memorable field was Sir 
Humphrey Bourchier, of whom the chronicler Hall says, ** He 
was the only man of estimation slain on the King's side." 
He was honoured with an interment in St. Edmund's Chapel, 
Westminster Abbey, and over his remains was erected a 
tomb of grey marble, covered with a brass, on which is 
engraved the effigy of the Knight in full armour. 

By Elizabeth Tilney, Sir Humphrey Bourchier had an only 
son, John — who was a child of seven years of age at his father's 
death — and two daughters. The wardship of the heir was 
claimed by Lord John Howard of East Winch, and granted 
to him by the King, in consequence of his feudal rights over 
certain of the child's manors. John Bourchier was born 
about the year 1464, and, at an early age, was sent to Oxford. 
For his father's sake, he was taken into the favour of Edward IV., 
and, at the age of eleven, on the occasion of the betrothal of 
the King's second son with the daughter of John Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk, he was made a Knight of the Bath. 
After leaving Oxford, John Bourchier travelled on the 
Continent for several years. While there his grandfather died, 
and he succeeded to the vacant peerage. On the accession of 
Henry VH. to the throne. Lord Berners returned to England 
and received a flattering reception at Court. When Henry 



sailed for Calais in order to punish Charles VIII. for seizing 
Ann of Britanny, as well as her dower, Lord Berners was 
commanded **to serve the King in his warres beyond see an 
hole yere with two speres, himself accompted, and either of 
them to have his custrell and page, besides four archers on 
horseback and twelve archers on foot." He accompanied 
Henry VIII. as Captain of the Pioneers in his invasion of 
France. When the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Lord Herbert 
had completely invested Terouenne, King Henry moved his 
contingent from Calais, in order to augment the attacking force. 
During the march, two of his largest pieces of ordnance were, 
inadvertently, left behind. One of the guns, called **John 
Evangelist," fell into the hands of the French a few days after, 
owing to the misconduct of the master carpenter, who, without 
communicating his intention to the Marshal, endeavoured to 
remove it at the head of one hundred labourers. While engaged 
in the operation, the fatigue party was attacked by a superior 
force of the enemy, and, after suffering considerable loss, the 
survivors were taken prisoners and conveyed into Boulogne, 
together with the gun. With this '* mischaunce the Kyng was 
sore displeased." The French, exulting in the capture of the 
gun, assembled a large force in order to carry off the other — 
**a bombarde of yron called the red gonne." The Lord 
Berners, however, had prepared engines for the purpose of 
removing it, and the King having sent a body of spears for 
the protection of the party engaged in the operation, ** by the 
diligent labor of the Lord Barnes ye piece of ordinaunce was 
raysed and carted." Meanwhile the enemy was approaching 
some 9,000 strong, the English numbering only 700 horse- 
men. Made confident by the presence of a superior force, 
the French cavalry furiously charged the spearmen covering 



the retreat of the gun ; but the English, having rapidly formed 
about, and crying **St. George!*' dashed into the midst of 
their assailants, and, having broken through their ranks, drove 
them back in confusion to their supports. The gun was then 
safely conveyed into the English camp. 

One of the articles of peace concluded with France in 
A.D. 1514 stipulated that Louis XII. should receive Henry's 
sister, Mary, in marriage. In the following October the 
Princess Mary was escorted to France by Thomas Howard, 
Duke of Norfolk, in order to be introduced to her aged 
consort. In the brilliant train of nobles, knights, and ladies 
who accompanied the Princess were the Lord Berners and 
his youthful kinswoman, Anne Boleyn, his mother's grand- 
daughter by her second husband, now Duke of Norfolk. 

After the accession of Francis I. to the throne of France, 
Cardinal Wolsey persuaded Henry to send an embassy to 
Charles, King of Castile and Arragon, in order to try and 
break up the alliance between him and France. The 
performance of this delicate mission was entrusted to Lord 
Berners and the Bishop of Armagh, but it failed of success. 
Lord Berners, soon after reaching Spain, fell sick, and was 
compelled to return to England. 

After this, he was appointed Deputy- General of the town and 
marches of Calais, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Under 
the impression that, if the harbour were blocked up, the town of 
Calais could easily be assaulted and taken, the French, during his 
term of office, prepared a ship, which they filled with stones, and 
sank one dark night in May in the entrance to the port. Owing, 
however, either to the darkness of the night or the ignorance 
of the navigators, the ship was sunk in a place where it could 
do no harm. The next morning. Lord Berners, at the head 



of a party of soldiers, triumphantly boarded her. While at 
Calais, Lord Berners, at the suggestion of Henry VIII., 
translated Froissart's Chronicles into English. After having 
had the rare favour of continuing in Henry's good graces for 
a period of eighteen years, Lord Berners died at Calais on the 
19th March, a.d. 1532, and was buried in the Church of St. 
Mary's, in that town, ** where there was, if there is not still, a 
comely monument erected over his remains." 

Lord Berners married Catherine, the daughter of his 
guardian, John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, by his second wife 
Margaret, the daughter of Sir John Chedworth, Kt. By her he 
had two daughters, one of whom married Alexander Unton ; 
the other, Edmund Knyvett, sergeant-porter to Henry VIII. 
Notwithstanding the fact that Lord Berners possessed immense 
estates in different parts of the country, yet **he sold almost all 
the substance of all his lands, "and died at last heavily in debt, 
owing the King, amongst other creditors, the sum of five 
hundred pounds. Although he was the heir to Massingh^m 
Parva, Lord Berners never entered into possession of the estate, 
being excluded by his wife's half-brother, Thomas Howard, 
Duke of Norfolk who had married his mother, ** tenant per 
legem Angliae.'* He sold his reversion of the manor to 
Sir William Capel. 

Less than two years after the death of Humphrey Bourchier 
on Bamet Field, his widow, Elizabeth, was wedded to Thomas 
Howard, the son of John, Lord Howard. By this marriage she 
obtained the ** keeping and guiding of her three children — ^John, 
afterwards Lord Berners, Margaret and Anne Bourchier — at 
that time of full tender age." Elizabeth Howard became 
Countess of Surrey when Thomas Howard was created Earl 
of Surrey by Richard III., on the 28th June, a.d. 1483. She 



lost that title when her husband was attainted and thrown into 
the Tower : regained it when he was finally restored to his 
honours by Henry VII.; but died before he was created Duke 
of Norfolk for his famous victory on Flodden Field. Her death 
took place about a,d. 1507, and, according to her expressed 
desire, she was buried in the nuns' quire of the Minories, 
London. She ordered ''that no more than twenty torches 
be used at her burial and month's mind : that no dole 
or money be given at either of these solemnities ; but that 
instead the sum of one hundred marks should be distributed 
amongst the poor, namely to every poor man and woman 
in the parishes of Whitechapel and Hackney the sum of 

Elizabeth, Countess of Surrey, became, by her second 
husband, the grandmother of two Queens of Henry VIII., 
the mother-in-law of one king's daughter, and of another 
king's natural son, the great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth, 
and the mother of three sons who have left an imperishable 
name upon the pages of English history. 

At the Battle of Flodden her eldest son, Thomas Howard, 
and his brother Edmund, led the van of the English army. 
In the battle, when Edmund, who was the Marshal of the 
host, was sorely pressed by the Scots, wounded and almost 
beaten to the ground, Thomas, accompanied by Sir Edward 
Stanley, rushed to his brother's aid, and, by his remarkable 
efforts and courage, delivered him from his peril. For his 
services on this occasion, Thomas Howard was created Earl 
of Surrey, and held in succession the offices of Lord Deputy 
of Ireland, Lord Treasurer of England, and Lieu tenant- 
General of the King's forces. He was the father of the famous 
Earl of Surrey, of whom Sir Egerton Brydges thus writes : 



** Excellent in arts and in arms; a man of learning, a genius and 
a hero; of a generous temper and a refined mind, he united 
all the gallantry and unbroken spirit of a rude age with all 
the elegance and grace of a polished era. With the greatest 
splendour of descent, in possession of the highest honours 
and unbounded wealth, he relaxed not his efforts to deserve 
distinction by his personal worth. Conspicuous in the rough 
exercises of tilts and of tournaments, and commanding armies 
with skill and bravery in expeditions against the Scots under 
his father, he still found time, at a period when our literature 
was rude and barbarous, to cultivate his mind with all the 
exquisite spirit of the choicest models of Greece and Rome, to 
catch the excellences of the revived muses of Italy, and to 
produce in his own language compositions which in simplicity, 
perspicuity, graceful ornament, and just and natural thought, 
exhibit a shining contrast to the works of his predecessors, 
and an example which his successors long attempted in vain 
to follow." 

There was no family in England that Henry VIII. feared 
more than that of the Howards, which, strong in alliance and 
dependence, of a revenue not inferior to some foreign kings, 
derived its pedigree from Edward I.; and, in the last years of 
his life, when a miserable spirit of suspicion of every one 
around him had become a confirmed habit, Henry arrested 
Thomas, the third Duke of Norfolk, and the Earl of Surrey, 
his son, and threw them both into the Tower. Early in the 
next year the Earl of Surrey was beheaded, and the same fate 
was reserved for his father, and would have befallen him had 
not the death of the tyrant intervened. Thomas Howard 
was kept in imprisonment throughout the reign of Edward VI., 
and was only released by Mary in time to retire to his Palace at 



Kenninghall to die. ** The old most worthy Duke of Norfolke, 
my most singular good lord and master/' writes his secretary, 
*' departed this lyfe in the time of Queen Mary, who most 
honourably delivered him out of his long undeserved 
ymprisonment in the Towre." The Duke's body was taken 
from Kenninghall to Framlingham, where it was laid to rest 
beside that of his father. 

Elizabeth Howard's other son, Lord Edward Howard, K.G., 
entered the maritime service of his country early in life, and, 
for his distinguished abilities, was made Lord High Admiral of 
England. He kept such a sharp outlook at sea, that he 
swept every French ship off the English Channel, and so 
determinedly ravaged the opposite coast that, for a time, not a 
single French vessel durst venture out of port. At last a 
desperate engagement took place off Brest, when Admiral 
Lord Howard, having boarded a French ship, was slain and 
his body thrown into the sea. 

Thomas Howard, Elizabeth Bourchier's second husband, was, 
if possible, a more extraordinary man than any of his sons. 
When quite a lad he was made one of Edward the Fourth's 
Pages of Honour, and, according to the custom then in vogue, 
he was instructed by the master of the henchmen "as to his 
demeanings, how mannerly he should eat and drink, and as to 
his communications and other forms of court." When young 
Howard heard that the Duke of Burgundy, one of the nearest 
allies of England, was warring against Louis of France, he 
begged leave of the King to go into his service in company 
with other gentlemen of quality. They were received by the 
warlike Duke with all the courtesy they could expect, and had 
every encouragement young adventurers could pretend to in 
such a service. The young Howard did particularly advance 



into the favour of the Duke by his application to what he came 
for, being the first in every occasion where he could gain 
honour or experience. At the end of the war he returned home 
laden with reward and the Duke's praises. King Edward made 
him one of the squires of his body, whose duty it was, besides 
attending to the appareling of his sovereign night and morning, 
** to drawe to lordes chambers within court in aftyrnoones and 
in eveninges, there to keep honest company after theyre 
cunnynge, in talkyng of cronycles of kings, and of other 
polycyes, or in pypeyng or harpyng, synging, or other actes 
martialles, to help occupy the courte, and accompany stranngers 
tyll the time require of departing." Thomas Howard was made 
a knight at the marriage of Edward's second son, the Duke 
of York ; and, when the Earl of Warwick raised the standard of 
Henry VI., he fought at Edward's side on Banbury field, and 
was taken prisoner with the King when Warwick subsequently 
surprised the camp. When Edward fled to Flanders, Thomas 
Howard took sanctuary in ^t. John's, Colchester, but joined the 
King on his return, and at the Battle of Barnet he was badly 
wounded. When Edward contemplated the invasion of 
France in a.d. 1475, he was despatched to that country to make 
the necessary arrangements for the camping of the army, and 
on his return he obtained the King's permission to retire to 
his manor of Ashwell-Thorp, which, together with other estates, 
came to him by his marriage with Elizabeth Bourchier. Here he 
setded for the remainder of King Edward's days, living the life 
of a country gentleman. ** Richard III., being one of the most 
politic as well as daring sovereigns, was not ignorant of the ill 
actions he had committed, nor of the consequences that were 
likely to ensue ; he, therefore, made it his business to gain 
from among the nobles and the people every man that had 



either ability or the power to help him. Knowing that Lord 
Howard and his son, Thomas, had for the latter years of 
Edward's life retired from Court not over-satisfied, and that 
they were in no good correspondence with the Queen's kindred, 
whom he had been forced to suppress, he thought/ from the 
great interest they had, and their exceeding reputation for 
wisdom and valour, that they were the fittest persons to be 
gained, and the likeliest to adhere to him of any other. Richard, 
therefore, invited the Howards to Court, and, as an earnest of 
his favour, created Lord John, Duke of. Norfolk, with the 
restitution of the lands of his mother's inheritance ; while 
Thomas Howard, he created Earl of Surrey. These two nobles 
were henceforth chief in all the King's councils, and, by his 
prudent management, Richard so captivated their grateful 
hearts that they resolved to stand by him in every fortune. 
All that could be performed by the conduct of a captain or the 
valour of a soldier Richard put in practice at Bosworth to 
save his crown, which had cost him so many crimes. The 
Duke of Norfolk commanded the archers, and was slain while 
leading them on." 

* Courageous Talbot had with Surrey met, 
And, after many blows, begins to fret 
That one so young in arms should thus, unmoved. 
Resist his strength, so oft in war approved. 
And now the Earl beholds his father's fall. 
Whose death, like horrid darkness, frighted all ; 
Some give themselves as captives, others fly; 
But this young lion casts his generous eye 
On Mowbrajr's lion painted in his shield. 
And with that king of beasts declines to yield. 
* The field ' ssuth he, * in which the lion stands 
Is blood, and blood I ofier to the hands 
Of daring foes ; but never shall my fli^t 
Dye black my lion, which as yet is white.' 



His enemies (like, cunning huntsmen) strive 
In binding snares to take their prey alive, 
While he desires t* expose his naked breast 
And thinks the sword that deepest strikes is best. 
Young Howard, single, with an army fights, 
When, moved with pity, two renowned knights — 
Strong Clarendon and valiant Conyers — try 
To rescue him, in which attempt they die. 
Now Surrey, fainting, scarce his sword can hold. 
Which made a common soldier grow so bold 
To lay rude hands upon that noble flower, 
Which he disdaining (anger gives him power), 
Erects his weapon with a nimble round, 
And sends the peasant's arms to kiss the ground. 
This done, to Talbot he presents his blade, 
And saith, ' It is not hope of life hath made 
This my submission, but my strength is spent. 
And some, perhaps of villain blood, will vent 
My wearie soul. This favour I demand 
That I may die by your victorious hand.* 

* May God forbid that any of my name ' 
(Quoth Talbot) ' should put out so bright a flame 

As bums in thee, brave youth ! Where thou hast erred 
It was thy father's fault, since he preferred 
A tyrant's crown before the juster side. * 
The Earl, still mindful of his birth, replied : 

* I wonder, Talbot, that thy noble heart 
Insults on nunes of the vanquished part ; 
We had the right, if now to you it flow, 
The fortune of your swords hath made it so 5 
I never will my luckless choice repent. 

Nor can it stain my honour or descent.' " 

The Earl of Surrey at the time he was taken prisoner was 
in the vigour of his youth — tall, strong, and graceful, of a 
flourishing health and constitution, and esteemed one of the 
best men-at-arms of the age. He was of high spirit but had 
a sober aspect, and was nothing dejected by his ill fortune. 
The Earl of Richmond was surprised, though not undelighted, 
with the sight of so extraordinary a man, and, after having 
said something to the other prisoners of quality, called for him 



and demanded, ** How he durst engage in the service of so 
unjust and cruel a tyrant as the late king ? " To which the 
Earl of Surrey, nothing daunted, replied, **That King Richard 
was in the throne before he came into his interest ; and if he 
had found the crown of England upon a bush he would have 
fought for it. " The Earl of Richmond, though not exasperated at 
the answer, dismissed him into the charge of those whose duty 
it was to carry him to the Tower of London, where for three 
years and a half he lay incarcerated under a bill of attainder* 
During this time he refused all invitations from the King's 
enemies and malcontents to enter into the intrigues of their 
faction. He would not hear of the Duchess of Burgundy 
nor the Earl of Lincoln. When a great consternation 
arose upon that Princes invasion of England, and the 
armies approached towards Stoke in Lincolnshire, in order to 
fight with the King and his forces, the Lieutenant of the Tower 
appeared one morning in the chamber of Thomas Howard 
with the keys of the Tower, which he offered to him if he 
chose to avail himself of the chanqe of liberty. This Howard 
refused to do, saying ** He would never leave to be a prisoner 
but by his consent that had thought him worthy of such a 
punishment." When the news of the Earl's trustworthiness 
was reported to Henry VIL on his return victorious from 
Stoke Field, he granted him his liberty, judging rightly that a 
man who had acted as Thomas Howard had done was not an 
ordinary character. He was, thereupon, appointed a Privy 
Councillor, having proved himself to be "vir prudentia, gravitate 
et constantia firma," Shortly afterwards (a.d, 1489) he was 
restored by an Act of Parliament to the title of Earl of Surrey, 
and all the lands he possessed by right of his wife's inheritance 
were confirmed to him for life **by the courtesy of England," 



in the event of her death preceding his. When the outbreak 
occurred in the north of England over the raising of a subsidy, 
the command of the King's army was entrusted to the Earl of 
Surrey, who took with him Sir John Bourchier, his stepson, 
as one of his lieutenants. On the suppression of the 
insurrection, the Earl of Surrey was made Lieutenant-General 
of the King's forces in the northern district. While holding 
this position, war broke out between England and Scotland, 
and Surrey, having made a raid into Teviotdale, burning and 
plundering as he went, besieged and took Heiton Castle in the 
face of the Scottish army. In a.d. 1501, Henry VII. made him 
Lord Treasurer of England ; and Henry VIII. on his accession, 
confirmed him in all the appointments and honours which his 
father had conferred upon him. The command of the north 
was again entrusted to the Earl when Henry VIII. sailed 
for France. On marching northwards, Surrey found that 
James IV. had already invaded England and had taken 
Norham Castle. Gathering together his forces (which 
numbered 26,000 men) he made the more speed, and ordered 
his son, Thomas, then Lord Admiral, to come by sea and meet 
him at, or near Alnwick, with a thousand men. Hearing that the 
Scots had intrenched themselves on a hill called Flodden, on 
the edge of the Cheviots, and finding that the country had been 
so thoroughly requisitioned that it would be impossible for him 
to continue to obtain the necessary supplies for his army, the Earl 
of Surrey despatched Red Herald on Sunday, 4th September, 
conducted by a trumpeter, with instructions to tell King James 
that, in consequence of his having violated faith and league in 
hostilely entering England, he (the Earl of Surrey) resolved 
on Friday next to bid him do battle, if he would accept the 
challenge. On receiving the Scottish King s gauge, Surrey 



marched within three miles of Flodden, when, observing that 
the Scotch were still posted on the hill-sides, he sent the 
Herald to the King with a letter, bidding him to descend with 
his troops into the plain. Having received no satisfactory 
answer to this, Surrey moved his army forward, in order to cut 
off the Scotch from their base of supplies. King James, aware 
of his danger, ordered his men to fire their huts, and, under cover 
of the smoke, marched them to higher ground. Thomas and 
Edward Howard led the van of the English army, Surrey 
and Stanley commanded the rear. When near enough to take 
effect, the English archers poured cloud after cloud of arrows 
into the foremost companies of the Scots, which so unsteadied 
them that they began to waver, and at last opened their ranks 
in order to avoid them. Lord Dacres was watching his 
opportunity, and immediately this false movement was made, he 
dashed into the midst of the Scots at the head of his body of 
horse. In vain the King tried to steady and re-form his 
men: the confusion irresistibly spread as the English troops 
rapidly moved up, and, before long, notwithstanding the 
dauntless efforts of James and his body-g^ard, the Scotch 
army was completely disorganised. 

The King and his chief nobles were left dead upon the 
fatal field, and, so disastrous was the fight, there was scarcely 
a household in Scotland that had not cause to mourn a 
lost one. 

** Had you seen them, O my masters ! 
When the night began to fall, 
And the English spearmen gathered, 

Round a grim and ghastly wall ! 
As the wolves, in winter, circle 

Round the leaguer on the heath. 
So the greedy foe glared upward. 
Panting still for blood and death. 


But a rampart rose before them, 

Which the boldest dared not scale, 
Every stone a Scottish body, 

Every step a corpse in mail. 
And behind it lay our Monarch, 

Clenching still his shivered sword, 
By his side Montrose and Athole, 

At his feet a Southron lord. 
All so thick they lay together 

When the stars lit up the sky, 
That I knew not who were stricken 

Or who yet remained to die." 

Lord Dacres found the body of James upon the field of 
battle and conveyed it to the Earl of Surrey at Berwick. 
It was then enclosed in lead and taken to York, from whence, 
at the King's command, it was carried to him at Richmond 
by the Earl of Surrey. Stow, in his Survey of London, says 
**The body was deposited in the monasterie of Shene, where 
it remained for a time ; but since the dissolution of 
that House — Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, keeping house 
there — I have been showed the same body so lapped in lead 
close to the head and body, thrown into a waste room 
amongst the lumber. Since the which time workmen there, 
for their foolish pleasure, hewed off his head ; and Launcelot 
Young, master glazier to Queen Elizabeth, feelinge a sweet 
savour to come from thence, and yet the form remaining, 
with the hair of the head and the beard red, brought it to 
London to his house in Wood Street, where (for a time) 
he kept it for the sweetness ; but in the end caused the 
sexton of that church to bury it amongst other bones taken 
out of their charnel." 

For achieving so splendid a victory, Henry VI H. (ist 
February, a.d. 15 13-14) created the Earl of Surrey, Duke of 



Norfolk and Earl Marshall, besides making him a special 
grant of an augmentation of his arms. During the King s 
temporary absence from his kingdom, on the occasion of the 
meeting between him and Francis I. on the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold, the Duke of Norfolk was appointed Protector and 
Defender of the Realm of England. Four years afterwards, 
feeling the weight of advancing years and of growing 
infirmities, he begged the King's permission to retire to his 
Castle of Framlingham, where he died on the 21st May, a.d. 
1524, at the age of eighty, owing at the time, as his epitaph 
records, ** not one grote for his debte, nor for restitution to any 
person.'' '' He was buried with much pomp at Thetford 
Abbey, under a tomb designed by himself and Master Clarke, 
Master of the Works at King's College, Cambridge, and Wassel, 
a freemason of Bury St. Edmunds.*' At the dissolution of 
the Abbey, his bones were removed and buried in St. Michael's 
Church, Framlingham. 

On the death of the Duke of Norfolk, Little Massingham 
came into the possession of the ancient Suffolk family of 
Capel, by virtue of Sir William Capel's purchase of his 
reversion of the manor from John, Lord Berners. Sir 
William Capel was an Alderman of the City of London, and 
in A.D. 1503 was elected Lord Mayor. From him the 
illustrious House of Capel, Earls of Essex, traces its descent. 
Sir William's case was the first noted instance of the 
perversion of justice by order of the Crown for the purpose 
of obtaining fines and compositions. He was condemned on 
some penal statutes to pay the sum of ^2,743, and was 
obliged to compound for ^^i, 615. Thirteen years afterwards, 
he was again fined ;^2,ooo on some frivolous pretext, and, for 
daring to murmur against the iniquitous exaction, he was thrown 



into the Tower. Sir William Capel married Margaret, the 
daughter of Sir Thomas Arundel, Kt, of Lanhern, Cornwall, 
by whom he had a son and two daughters. His elder 
daughter, Elizabeth, married William Paulet, the first Marquis 
of Winchester : his younger, Dorothy, John, Lord Zouch, 
of Harringworth. Sir William Capel died on the6th September, 
A.D. 1 5 14, and by his will bequeathed the lordship of South 
Wooton, together with all other his manors in Norfolk, to 
Margaret, his wife, for life, with remainder to his son and heir, 
Giles. Giles Capel was knighted for his valour at the sieges 
of Therouenne and Tournay, and during the battle of the 
Spurs. At the Field of the Cloth of Gold he was one of the 
champions of England, and, together with other gentlemen, 
challenged all comers in feats of arms for four days. He 
married twice, and left issue by his second wife, Isabel, the 
daughter of Sir Thomas Newton. Sir Giles Capel was 
succeeded by his son. Sir Henry, who was succeeded by his 
brother, Sir Edward. Sir Edward married Anne, the daughter 
of Sir William Pelham. Little Massingham was actually in 
the possession of the Capel family for ten years, and, on the 
27th April, A.D. 1534, the manor was sold by Sir Edward 
Capel to Robert Mordaunt, Esq., of Hempstead, who already 
owned land in the village by his marriage with Barbara le 

The le Stranges are a very ancient and distinguished 
family, and several members of the House have, under different 
sovereigns, held offices of great responsibility in the State. 
Guy le Strange, the founder of the family, came over in the 
train of one of William the Conqueror's nobles — the ancestor 
of the Fitz-Alans, afterwards Earls of Arundel — and, for his 
services to his chief, he received a grant of the lands of 



Knockin, in the county of Shropshire. From Guy descended 
numerous powerful branches of the family who spread them- 
selves throughout the country, and the heads of three of these 
families became so distinguished as to succeed in founding 
three different peerages in the realm. The le Stranges, Barons 
of Knockin, after existing for four centuries, became merged in 
the fortunes and honours of the Earls of Derby, by the marriage 
of the last female, Joan le Strange, with Sir George Stanley. 
One branch of the le Strange's had settled at, and had been 
lords of the manor of Hunstanton at least from the time of 
Richard I; and, in a.d. 1483, Henry le Strange of Hunstanton 
died possessed amongst other estates of the manor of Tateshale, 
or Petegars, in Congham, together with a part of Little 
Massingham, which had been alienated by the de Thorpes. 
This property Henry le Strange left to his third son, John. 
John was brought up to the profession of the Law, and entered 
as a student of Lincoln's Inn, of which Society he was 
successively elected Reader, Treasurer, and a Fellow. His 
success as a barrister led to his appointment as a Counsel at 
Common Law, from which post he was promoted, on a vacancy 
occurring, to be one of the King's Judges. John le Strange 
married Margaret, one of the two daughters and heiresses of 
Sir Thomas le Strange of Walton d'Eiville, Warwickshire, by 
whom he had two children. Henry, his son, died in his youth, 
while Barbara, his heiress, married Robert Mordaunt, by 
which alliance she became the ancestress of the Mordaunts of 
Massingham. By his will, which was proved in October, a.d. 
15 1 7, John le Strange ordered his body to be buried in Little 
Massingham Church, if he should die within five miles of the 
village. ** To his wife he bequeathed his lands in Congham and 
Little Massingham for life ; after her decease they were to go to 



her daughter Barbara, and in default of issue by her to Richard 
le Strange, his nephew's son. To Barbara, his daughter, he 
left all his law books — except the boarded ones, which were 
to be presented to the Library of Lincoln's Inn — which she 
was to keep for her son, if she should have the good fortune to 
bear one." His daughter Barbara and William Mordaunt, 
her father-in-law, were appointed co-executors of his will. 

**In the year 1066, amongst other heroes who joined their 
hopes and assistance to the famous William, Duke of Normandy, 
there was a noble knight called Robert of St. Giles — in the 
Latin tongue, Robertus de Sancto iEgidio — who brought to 
his service four score knights out of the south of France. Of 
this Robert of St. Giles, no more is certain of what he was, than 
the assurance that the sovereign lords and princes of Toulouse 
did all, at that time, use the name and appellation of St. Giles 
or de Sancto iCgidio ; and that, after his labours in the war, he 
was rewarded by the Conqueror with great lands and noble 
possessions. His son, Eustace of St. Giles, did survive his 
father and possessed his acquisitions by a charter, wherein he 
gave to his brother, Osbert, who assumed the name of le 
Mordant, the lordship of Radwell and other lands in the county 
of Bedford. Osbert derived the name of le Mordant from 
**dare mortem," to destroy his enemy, he having set out to 
make his fortune by adventures of arms ; and, for his good 
services, he received a grant of many lands and fair possessions 
in other counties. From this Osbert, all the Mordaunts derive 
their descent." The tenth in descent was William Mordaunt 
of Turvey, who had two sons, John and William. John joined 
Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick in the reign of Edward IV., 
and was with him at the Battle of Bamet, where his patron was 
slain and he himself badly wounded. He afterwards afforded 



great and successful assistance to Henry VII., both at the 
Battles of Bos worth and Stoke Field, at the latter of which he 
was one of the commanders of the royal forces. For his 
services, he received the honour of knighthood and was made 
a Privy Councillor. He was afterwards made, successively, the 
King's Serjeant, Justice of Chester, Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, and Knight of the Sword at the creation of Henry, 
Prince of Wales. His son was the first lord Mordaunt, and from 
him descended the now extinct branch of the Mordaunts, Earls 
of Peterborough. Sir John Mordaunt married Edith Latimer. 
He died in a.d. 1505, and lies buried in Turvey Church. 

William, John s brother, became Prothonotary of the Court of 
Common Pleas. In June, a. d. 1495, he married Anne, one of the 
daughters of Thomas Huntington of Hempstead, Essex, the 
marriage festivities being provided, according to the contract, 
** at the cost and charges of the said William Mordaunt, as well 
in apparel as in meat and drink and other charges." By his wife, 
William Mordaunt had four sons and eleven daughters. Two 
of his sons died childless. His third son married Agnes, the 
daughter of Lord Rich, who by pliancy and profligacy, and, it 
is said, perjury, made his way to honour and became Lord 
Chancellor. William Mordaunt died in a.d. 1527, leaving 
testamentary instructions that **his body should be buried at 
Hempstead, and that, as soon as possible after his decease, there 
be five masses said for his soul of the Five Wounds, and five 
trentals for his soul and that of Anne his wife, whereof one to 
be at the Friars of Bedford, and the others at the four orders at 
Cambridge." His eldest son, Robert, as before-mentioned, 
married Barbara le Strange ; and, in a.d. 1529, he held, in her 
right, lands called EUinghams, Walcotes, Rusteyns, Geffreys, 
Petegars, and Alexanders, with thirty messuages in Little 



Massingham, and Congham. He, also, owned the lands in 
Little Massingham belonging to Christ's College, Cambridge, 
(which are treated of under the heading Creyke Abbey), which 
had been re-leased by the authorities of the College to John le 
Strange, his father-in-law. In a.d. 1534, he purchased the 
manor of Little Massingham and all its rights from Sir Edward 
Capel, thus uniting under one lord the whole of the parish, with 
the exception of the lands still held by the Castle Acre and West 
Acre Priories. Besides this, Robert Mordaunt purchased from 
Sir Thomas le Strange his half rights in the estate of Walton 
D'Eiville, the other half having been left to his wife by her 

Not long afterwards, Robert Mordaunt began to reside at 
Massingham Parva, and from that time the Hall continued 
to be for many generations the favourite residence of the head 
of the family. Several generations of the Mordaunts were 
born and baptized in this quiet village, and lie buried under 
the shadow of the Church. 

Philip, Robert Mordaunt's son, who died before his father, 
was twice married, and both his wives were interred at 
Massingham Parva. His second wife was the Lady Ann Hollis, 
the widow of Sir Thomas Hollis, a rake and a spendthrift, who 
ended his days in prison. The Lady Ann Hollis had been 
one of the Maids of Honour to Catherine of Arragon, the 
first wife of Henry VIIL, at whose Court Sir Thomas Hollis 
first met her. She did not live long to enjoy the peaceful life 
of Massingham, dying and being buried there on the 28th 
September, a.d. 1567. Her husband died within two years, 
leaving behind him five sons. Philip's father, Robert Mordaunt, 
died on the 20th May, A.D. 1572, and was succeeded by his 
grandson, John. John died on the 7th July, a.d. 1574, and had 



for his successor his brother James, who died a lunatic the 
year following. Robert, Philip's third son, next succeeded, and 
owned the whole of the property, with the exception of the lands 
which his grandmother, Barbara, held in her own right, as heiress 
of John le Strange. After long outliving her husband and 
several of her grandchildren, Barbara Mordaunt at length sank 
in the Spring of a.d. 1581, and on the 26th April was laid to 
her rest in the Parish Church. 

Philip Mordaunt's fourth son, Henry, married Anne Foley, 
and was living at Massingham at least from the year 1572 to 
1574, when two children, George and Barbara, were bom to 
him. His eldest son, le Strange, who succeeded his uncle Robert 
at his death in the year 1602, is said to have been bom in Lynn 
about, A.D. 1 5 71. However this may be, Henry and his wife 
removed to Lynn after a.d. 1574, probably on account of the 
greater advantages the town offered for the education of their 
children ; and Anne Foley was buried there on the 1 2th July, 
1 583. When Philip, Earl of Arundel, the eldest son of the fourth 
Duke of Norfolk, was thrown into the Tower for attempting to 
pass beyond the seas without the Queen's licence, a Commission 
was appointed to survey his lands, among which was the manor 
of Rysing. Henry Mordaunt was one of the witnesses examined 
by the Commission. He died at the close of the year 1 599, and 
was laid beside his wife in St. Margaret's Church, Lynn. 

Le Strange Mordaunt was born at a stirring period of 
English history. The intellectual and physical vigour of the 
nation, which had been stimulated by peculiar influences, was, 
at that time, bursting through its ancient limits, seeking new 
fields of exercise. The wealth of the great merchants of the 
country had increased enormously, and the facilities which had 
recently been offered them for investing their money in land had 



been taken advantage of largely. In consequence, ruined 
noblenien were replaced as owners of the soil by men of wealth, 
who laid the foundation of new families of distinction and 
honour, which have been a source of strength to England in 
many of her hours of need. A few years before le Strange' s 
birth, Sir Thomas Gresham, the owner of two of the 
principal manors in Great Massingham, as well as of land 
in Little Massingham, had founded, at his own cost, the Royal 
Exchange in London, which Queen Elizabeth, after dining 
with Sir Thomas, opened with much pomp and magnificence. 
Education and liberty of thought were on the increase in the 
kingdom. Shakspeare was revelling in the sunny hours of 
his boyhood, wandering amid the fields of Avon. Essex, 
Sidney, and Raleigh were in the full blaze of their popularity. 
Sir John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, Martin Frobisher and 
others, were sailing on the high seas, crippling the commerce 
of Spain, opening up new markets for English goods, founding 
colonies, and laying the foundation of England's naval 
supremacy. In a.d. 1585, the Earl of Leicester was despatched 
to Holland with an English army to help the Estates to break 
loose from the tyranny of Spain; to this invasion the King of 
Spain replied, a few years later, by hurling his unwieldy fleet 
against the shores of England. Yearly the sphere of adventure 
and commercial enterprise was extending ; and, to every man 
in England who possessed sufficient daring and ability, was 
opened up a future, bright with the possibility of obtaining 
distinction and honour, if not of opulence and ease. 

In the meanwhile the boy le Strange, in conformity with 
the custom of the age, was learning ** the Frenche and Latine 
tongues, writing, plaienge att weapons, castinge of accomptes, 
and pastimes of instruments : while for his recreation he would 




hawke and hunte and shoote in his long bowe." Now and 
again some fleet messenger or goodly merchant-vessel would 
bring to Lynn tidings from the outer world — news of the daring 
deeds Englishmen were performing in every quarter of the 
globe. The chief interest of the Mordaunts centred naturally 
in Ireland, where their kinsmen, Sir Nicholas and Sir 
Thomas le Strange, and Captain Nicholas Mordaunt, were 
hunting the rebels down from hill to hill and bush to bush. 

Le Strange's first experience of the realities of war was 
gained in Flanders, where he joined the English army fighting 
against Spain, and, in more than one engagement, he gave 
promise of future distinction. The war dragged, however, and 
le Strange found occupation in other ways. While quartered in 
Antwerp, he paid his addresses to Margaret, the daughter 
of Peter de Charles, a Flemish gentleman, whom, at the 
conclusion of the war, he married and took home with him to 
Massingham. In the year 1598 the Irish again rose in rebellion 
under the leadership of the Earl of Tyrone, who was aided by 
Spanish men and money. The English forces in Ireland having 
sustained a crushing defeat, twenty thousand men were hurriedly 
called to arms in England and despatched to Ireland, under the 
command of the Earl of Essex. Le Strange sailed as one of 
the officers of the expedition. But the expedition did not 
achieve any satisfactory result while it remained under the 
command of Essex. Anxious to return to Court, he at length 
patched up a peace with the Irish, and set sail for England. 
Under Mountjoy, his successor, le Strange greatly distin- 
guished himself in the fierce fights of a.d. 1600 and a.d. 1601. 
With the capitulation of the Spaniard, D*Aguilar,and the capture 
of Tyrone, the war came to an end, and le Strange returned to 
Massingham Hall, only to find his uncle lying at death's door. 



On the 29th May, a.d. 1602, Robert Mordaunt died issueless, 
and le Strange succeeded to the estates. Before another year had 
passed away, the great grand-daughter of a former owner of 
Massingham Parva, to the grief of England, lay writhing in her 
death agony on the floor of Richmond Palace. Three years 
later, Margaret, le Strange's wife, was laid beside her husband's 
ancestors in Little Massingham Church. On the 2 8th September, 
A.D. 1608, le Strange was married again in the Church of 
St. John's, Maddermarket, Norwich. His second wife was 
Frances, the widow of Thomas Sotherton of Haylesdon and 
Norwich, and the daughter of Sir Robert Cheek of Debnam. 

On the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, Sir Gilbert 
Pickering of Tichmarsh, Northamptonshire, whose son after- 
wards married one of le Strange Mordaunt's grand-daughters, 
was particularly active in apprehending the conspirators. On 
account of his absence from Parliament at the time, Lord 
Mordaunt, a kinsman of the lord of Massingham Parva, fell under 
the suspicion of the Star Chamber, as being concerned in the 
movement, and was fined the sum of ten thousand pounds. 

Within a few years James L conceived the idea of raising 
money by instituting the hereditary honour of baronets. His 
ostensible object was to promote the colonisation of Ireland by 
Englishmen, and thereby to increase the civilization, effect the 
pacification, and develope the resources of the country. Each 
baronet undertook to maintain thirty soldiers in Ireland for 
three years, at the rate of eightpence per diem. It was, how- 
ever, specially stipulated that a whole year's wages should 
be paid into the Royal Treasury at the time of granting the 
patent. Notwithstanding that it cost over one thousand pounds 
to purchase the honour, more than two hundred persons 
applied for it. The first patents were granted on the 22 nd 



May, A.D. i6i I, and on the 29th June in the same year Sir le 
Strange Mordaunt obtained the title which has since remained 
with his direct descendants. 

In the meanwhile, Sir le Strange's eldest son, Robert, had 
grown to man's estate, and had married Amy, the daughter of 
Sir Austin Sotherton. By her he had seven children, five of 
whom were born and baptized at Little Massingham. Of these, 
all, except one, grew to man and woman's estate. This child, 
named after his father, Robert, sickened and died at Massingham 
within a few weeks of his birth. About the year 1620, Robert 
Mordaunt received the honour of knighthood at the hands of 
King James, and, on the 1 2th June in that year, the little Church 
at Massingham Parva was the scene of an unusual occurrence. 
Sir Robert's sister, Jane, was married to Sir James Reynolds of 
Bumpstede, Essex, in the presence of her father. Sir le Strange, 
her brothers, and a numerous and distinguished company. 

The next year Frances, Lady Mordaunt, the second wife of Sir 
le Strange, died and was buried in St. John's, Madder-market, 
Norwich. Within six years, her noble husband succumbed 
to the weight of his infirmities, though still comparatively a 
young man, being only fifty-five years of age, and was buried 
beside his first wife in Little Massingham Church. 

By his will, it was ordered that Sir le Strange's property in 
Massingham and Congham should be divided. Massingham was 
to remain with the heir, while Congham was bequeathed to his 
second son, Henry. Henry married Barbara Calthorp, by whom 
he became the father of a son named, after his grandfather, le 
Strange Mordaunt. Barbara Calthorp died on 25th December, 
A.D. 1680, and was interred in Congham Church. Le Strange 
Mordaunt, her son, married Barbara (the daughter of Richard 
Catlyn, Esquire, of Kirkby-Cane) whose brother, Nevil, was a 



Staunch and distinguished royalist in the Civil War. Le Strange 
had by her a son, Henry, and a daughter, Barbara. The latter 
married Captain John Brown, of Seaming. She lies buried 
in Scarning Church under a stone which bore the inscription : — 

** In memory of Barbara, wife of John Brown, gent., daughter of 
L'Estrange Mordaunt of Congham, Esquire, who died May 19th, 1714 : 
aged 36." 

Le Strange Mordaunt and his wife were interred in Congham 
Church. Over their grave an inscribed slab was laid : — 

** In memory of I'Estrange Mordaunt, son of Henry Mordaimt, a 
grandson of Sir TEstrange Mordaunt, of Norff., Bt., by Barbara, his wife, 
daughter of Richd. Catlyn, Esquire, he had issue Henry and a daughter, 
Barbara, and died, Dec. 4, in the 63rd year of his age, 1691. Here also 
lielh Barbara, his relict, who died April 4, 1729, aged 86." 

Sir Robert Mordaunt, Kt. and Baronet, appears to have 
resided only occasionally at Massingham after his father's 
death, his favourite residence being Hempstead in Essex, one 
of the manors which came to him as the heir of Anne 
Huntingdon, the wife of William Mordaunt, his ancestor. 
Here he died and was buried on the 23rd August, a.d. 1638. 

Sir Charles, his eldest son, who had been bom at Massingham, 
succeeded to the tide when only twenty-three years of age. 
Being a staunch Royalist he was soon actively engaged in 
the stirring scenes of the time. The dark political thunder- 
cloud that had long been gathering around the throne of 
England burst when Charles I. impeached the five members 
of the House of Commons (one of whom was descended from 
the HoUises of Flitcham), deluging the country for many years 
with blood. The gentlemen of West Norfolk at the outset of 
the campaign declared for the King, and, as Lynn was the 
most important town in that part of the country, immediate 



Steps were taken for placing it in a position to sustain a siege. 
Night and day men worked on the fortifications, putting 
them into a proper state of defence : new draw-bridges were 
added to the gates, several pieces of ordnance were obtained 
from London, and watch and ward was diligently kept in order 
to prevent a surprise. 

Cromwell, however, was on the alert, and cognisant of the 
steps that were being taken in Lynn. At that time he was 
sweeping West Norfolk with his troop of horse, and, while busy 
confederating the Eastern Association, he was also dispersing 
royalist assemblages and seizing royalist plate. Early in March, 
A.D. 1642, he was at Fakenham, where he fell into an ambush, 
which cost him the lives of some of his men. Passing, perhaps, 
through Massingham Parva, in order to look up the disaffected 
Sir Charles Mordaunt, Cromwell is next heard of at Downham, 
writing on the 15th March in the same year to Comet Squire: 
'*I would you could get into Lynn, for I hear they are building 
a nest there that we must rifle I sadly fear." Lynn feeling 
herself strong enough to do so, at length openly declared for 
the King. Sir Hamon le Strange, at that time a veteran of sixty 
years of age, and a staunch royalist, was appointed the Governor, 
while gentlemen flocked into the town from the surrounding 
country to offer their services as volunteers in its defence. 
Amongst these was Sir Charles Mordaunt. In the meanwhile, 
the Earl of Manchester, at the head of a large army, was 
moving to lay siege to the town, while Cromwell was busy 
accumulating a supply of forage and stores for them at SwafFham. 
On the 17th August, a.d. 1643, Cromwell was on his way to 
* join the Earl's forces with his troop of horse, which, however, 
he does not seem to have effected, his presence being urgently 
required in Lincolnshire. By the end of the month the Earl 



of Manchester had invested Lynn. Old Lynn and Gaywood 
were seized, batteries for the siege guns were erected on the 
most advantageous sites, while eighteen thousand soldiers 
were drawn tightly round the town like a living girdle. The 
bombardment soon commenced, and so much damage and 
annoyance were caused by some guns near the East Gates 
that the Governor determined to make a sally, in order 
to try and silence them, as well as to dislodge the 
Parliamentarians from Gaywood. Having ordered a brisk fire 
to be opened in order to cover their advance, the drawbridge 
was lowered, and a selected number of volunteers suddenly 
issued from the East Gate. The besiegers, completely taken by 
surprise, fell back hastily into Gaywood, into which the Royalists 
chased them, firing the houses as they went ; but the prompt 
advance of Parliamentarian supports checked their advance, and, 
after a faint show of resistance, the besieged were driven back 
in disorder to the Gates. Thereupon, the Earl of Manchester 
advanced his approaches still nearer the walls of the town: 
fresh batteries were erected on more commanding sites: boats 
were collected in the river, and scaling ladders in the camps : 
a Council of War was held, at which it was decided to 
assault the town simultaneously both by sea and land : orders 
to that effect had been issued to the different commanders, 
when, on the i6th September, to the surprise of every one, the 
white flag was hoisted, and the besieged proposed to capitulate. 
The same night, Lynn was occupied by a part of the army of 
the Parliament, and the next morning the Earl of Manchester 
made his triumphal entry into the town. 

Two of the clauses in the treaty of capitulation provided 
that ** the gentlemen strangers in the town should have liberty 
to depart, with every man a horse, sword and pistols:" and 




"that neither the persons nor estates of* any inhabitants 
or strangers now resident in Lynrt should be molested 
for anything passed or done by them since the Earl of 
Manchester's coming into these parts." 

Under the protection of these clauses, Sir Charles Mordaunt 
retired to Massingham, and a few months after, two of his 
sons, Henry and John, were baptized in the Parish Church* 
Henry only lived three days after his baptism, and in June 
following, ToUemache, another son, was laid in the grave 
beside his brother. In October, Sir Charles' mother followed 
them to the tomb. Sir Charles' wife, Katherine, was the 
widow of Drake William Playters, lord of Hardley, by whom 
she had had a family of six children. She was the daughter 
of Sir Lionel Tollemache, the then head of the venerable 
and illustrious Saxon family of which it is recorded : — 

" Before the Nonnans into Eogland came, 
Bentley was my seat and Tollemache was my name." 

Katherine Tollemache's sister, Mary, married another eminent 
Norfolk royalist, Roger Castell, Esqre., of Raveningham. 

Not long after the capitulation of Lynn, Sir Roger le Strange, 
the son of Sir Hamon, formed a scheme for surprising the 
town and recovering it out of the hands of the Parliamentarian 
Governor, Colonel Walton. Having obtained the sanction 
of the King to the scheme, and also a Commission appointing 
him Governor in the event of its meeting with success, 
he was about to put it into execution, with the assistance 
of certain neighbouring gentlemen, when he was suddenly 
arrested, tried by court-martial, and condemned to death. 
While lying in prison, he was visited by Mr. Thorowgood, 
sometime rector of Little Massingham, who promised to use 



his Utmost interest to secure the reversal of the sentence and 
his liberation, if he woujd undertake to subscribe the 
Covenant. This he refused to do, and, after languishing in 
gaol for thirty months, he managed to make his escape. 

For his connection with this intended rising, Sir Charles 
Mordaunt's estates were sequestered, in consequence of which 
he and his family retired to London. Here he died at the 
age of thirty-three, on the loth July, A.p. 1648. His body was 
brought by road to Little Massingham, where, on the 15th 
July, it was interred in the Parish Church with due solemnity, 
having been saved, as his epitaph records, from the sepulchre 
of an exile. His widow — who bore him seven children — 
afterwards married Sir Charles Lee, of Billeslee, Warwick. 

Five of his children outlived Sir Charles Mordaunt, but in 
only one of them was the line saved from becoming extinct. 
His youngest daughter, Amy, died unmarried two years after 
his decease, and was buried beside her father. Katherine and 
Elizabeth also died unmarried : the former lived to a ripe age, 
and died at Massingham Parva in May, a.d. i 705. She was the 
last Mordaunt interred in the Parish Church. Charles and John 
his sons, both inherited the baronetcy, the former dying childless. 

Charles L was already in the hands of the Parliament when 
Sir Charles Mordaunt, the fourth baronet, succeeded his father 
and, in the following January, the King paid with his head 
for the fatal errors of government into which he had fallen. 

For some time afterwards. Sir Charles Mordaunt lived in 
seclusion at Massingham, although, as a staunch royalist, his 
sympathies were over the water with the exiled heir to 
the throne of England ; and when in a.d. 1658 his kinsman, 
Mr. John Mordaunt, of the elder branch of the family, was in 
the neighbourhood gaining adherents to the exile's cause, 



Sir Charles Mordaunt was of the number of those who 
promised their support, and concerning whom it was afterwards 
reported to Charles II. that **they were of good affection." 

This John Mordaunt was a young man of great ability, who 
had recently married a very beautiful and accomplished lady, 
and both were enthusiastic royalists. Some time after, 
Mr. Mordaunt begged Charles II. to grant a commission 
for the command of a regiment of horse to a friend of his. No 
sooner did Cromwell discover that the commission was in Mr. 
Mordaunt's possession, than he caused him to be arrested and 
thrown into the Tower. When brought up for trial, Mr. Mordaunt 
impeached the legality of the court that sat to try him, 
and, continuing obstinate in his refusal to acknowledge its 
power and jurisdiction, he was sent back to prison to digest the 
decision that, if on the morrow he refused to plead, he would 
be condemned unheard. In the meantime, Mrs. Mordaunt 
was busy bribing the judges in her husband's favour, and, in 
the course of the evening, she received two messages : the 
one to the effect that a Colonel Mallory, who had also been 
arrested, was the most damaging witness against her husband; 
the other, that if her husband wished to save his neck he must 
be induced to plead. Throughout the night Mrs. Mordaunt 
was busy devising means for obtaining Mr. Mordaunt's 
acquittal. With the aid of a friend she so judiciously expended 
her money that, as Colonel Mallory was being conducted to 
the Court, a temporary confusion was created, during which he 
managed to slip from his guards, and, mingling with the crowd, 
was soon lost to sight. As her husband was entering the 
Court, Mrs. Mordaunt slipped a note into his hand, in 
consequence of which he retracted his decision of the previous 
day, and, after a searching examination, was acquitted. When 



the verdict was reported to him, Cromwell was thrown into a 
great rage, and ordered Mr. Mordaunt to be reconfined in the 
Tower to await another trial; but this arbitrary exercise of 
his power caused the display of so much popular indignation 
that he was compelled, reluctantly, to release him. 

After thus narrowly escaping the block, Mr. Mordaunt 
threw himself more enthusiastically than ever into the King's 
cause. Having obtained fresh assurances from the chief 
noblemen and gentlemen of the land that they would rise in the 
King's behalf, if the King wouldappoint a dayand promise to join 
them, Mr. Mordaunt departed for Brussels in disguise to report 
the matter to Charles. There were, said Mr. Mordaunt, very 
few counties in the which the most powerful men had not formed 
a scheme for seizing one of the most important towns. The 
best digested and the most promising of success was that for 
surprising Lynn, and which had been entrusted to Lord 
Willoughby of Parham, Sir Horatio Townshend, Sir Robert 
Walpole, Sir Charles Mordaunt and others. Already the 
haven of Lynn was being fortified, while forces were being 
secretly levied and drilled ready for use ; and the gentlemen of 
the County only waited the signal to rise. 

On hearing this, and similar reports from the west of 
England, Charles proposed a certain day in the middle of July, 
A.D. 1659, when he would be in readiness at Calais to embark 
for England. On returning to England Mr. Mordaunt 
communicated to the Royalists the King's resolution ; but, on 
the day appointed; such a terrible storm burst over England, 
that few of the King's adherents were able to reach the place 
of rendezvous ; while, to add to the general dismay, Lord 
Willoughby, Sir Horatio Townshend and others were arrested 
by order of the Commonwealth. 



But the current of loyal feeling in the country, although 
diverted for a time, was gradually returning to the old channels. 
Through Mr. Mordaunt several members of the Council and 
numerous officers of the army tendered their services to 
Charles; and at last, General Monk transmitted through the 
same hands certain letters to the King, the result of which was 
the issue of the famous Declaration of Breda, and the recall 
of Charles to occupy the vacant throne. The next time 
Mr. Mordaunt touched the shores of England, he brought in 
his pocket a patent creating him Viscount Avalpn. 

Four years after the Restoration, which was^ tfelebVSted at 
Lynn (and doubtless at Massingham) with much festivity, Sir 
Charles Mordaunt died, and was buried at Little Massingham, 
being at the time only twenty-five years of age.. He married 
Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of » Mr. Nicholas Johnson, 
of London. His wife's uncle. Sir William Turner, a merchant 
of the Drapers' Company, became Lord Mayor of London. 
His widow — by whom he had no family — afterwards married 
Francis Godolphin, Esq., of Colston, Wilts. 

Sir John, the fifth baronet, was bom at Little Massingham, 
and was only twenty years of age at his brother's death. His 
first wife was Anne, daughter of William Risley, Esq., of the 
Friary, Bedfordshire. She bore him a daughter, Penelope, 
who died in her infancy, and was buried at Massingham Parva; 
and his wife was laid beside her two years after. After this. 
Sir John Mordaunt seems to have quitted Massingham and to 
have retired to Walton, which has since been the favourite 
residence of his descendwts. His second wife was Penelope, 
the daughter of Sir George Warburton, Bart.^ of Arley, 
Cheshire. She bore him two sons and two daughters, 
Catherine, his younger daughter, married Dr. Dobson, 



Warden of Winchester College ; while Penelope, the elder, 
married Joseph Heme, Esq. Sir John Mordaunt sat in 
several Parliaments in the reigns of William and Mary, and 
of Anne, as one of the Knights of the Shire of Warwick. 
He died at Walton in a.d. 1721, at the age of seventy-eight, 
having lived from the fourth year of Charles II. to the eighth 
of George I. 

During his life his eccentric but gifted and famous kinsman, 
Charles Mordaunt, was alternately throwing England into 
ecstasies of delight and paroxysms of despair. Having 
deserted the cause of James II., and having been created Earl 
of Monmouth by William III., he was, after holding several 
high offices in the State, committed to the Tower. Hence 
he emerged a ruined man ; but, by consummate ability and 
diligence, he retrieved his fortunes, and, by the death of his 
uncle, became Earl of Peterborough. In a.d. 1705 he was 
despatched to Spain with an English and Dutch army, in order 
to take part in the war of the Spanish succession. After 
gaining the most splendid victories over overwhelming 
numbers with a handful of men, and reducing, in an 
extraordinary manner, several of the strongest fortresses 
in Spain, he suddenly, in a fit of pique, threw up his 
command and quitted the country. After travelling restlessly 
through Europe, "seeing more kings and postillions than 
any other man of his day," he returned to England and 
was made Commander-in-Chief of the naval forces of Great 
Britain. Subsequently, having married an actress, he retired 
to Portugal, and died at Lisbon of extreme age and decay, 
breathing his last amid the mournful thunder of the guns of 
Sir John Norris' fleet. As a genius and wit he held his 
own with Pope, Swift, and Prior. 



Charles Mordaunt, the eldest son of Sir John, married 
in A.D. 1720 the daughter of Sir John Conyers, Bart., 
of Walthamstow, Essex, and the next year, on his father's 
decease, he succeeded to the title. By his first wife, he had 
two daughters, both of whom died unmarried. His second 
wife, whom he married in the year 1730, was the only 
daughter of Sir John Wodehouse, Baronet, of Kimberley. 
She died within eight years of her marriage, leaving by 
him two sons and two daughters. -Sir Charles' eldest son, 
John, eventually succeeded him, while his other son, Charles, 
who entered Holy Orders, was presented to the family living 
of Little Massingham. The son of the latter, also called 
Charles, was the last Mordaunt born and baptized at 
Massingham. Sir Charles was elected a Knight of the Shire 
of Warwick, and represented it in Parliament for nearly fifty 
years. . He died in the year 1778. 

Sir John Mordaunt, the seventh baronet, married Elizabeth, 
the daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Prowse of Axbridge, 
Somerset, by whom he became the father of eight children. 
He was one of the grooms of the bedchamber, M.P. for 
the County of Warwick, and LL.D. He died on the i8th 
November, 1806. 

His eldest son, Charles, married Louisa Chester in November, 
A.D. 1793, and in 1807, Mary Anne, the eldest daughter of 
William Holbech, Esq., of Farnborough, Warwickshire. By 
the latter, he had a son and heir, John, and two daughters. The 
connection of the Mordaunts with Massingham, which had 
continued during nearly three centuries, was now fast draw- 
ing to a close. Sir Charles, the eighth baronet, who had 
succeeded his father at his death in 1806, proposed to sell 
the estate and the advowson of the living, and in a.d, 1807 



it was purchased by Joseph Wilson, Esq., of Highbury Hill, 

Mr. Wilson was a rich and prosperous merchant, the son 
of Thomas Wilson, Esq., of Highbury Place. His first wife, 
Mary Anne, the eldest daughter of Robert Maitland, Esq., 
of Blue Stile, Greenwich, a West India merchant, was 
married to him on the loth July, 1792. After her death he 
married on the 19th February, 1800, Emma, the eldest 
daughter of John Welford, Esq., of Blackheath. After 
purchasing Little Massingham, although he often visited 
the village, Mr. Wilson never lived there, having selected 
for his place of residence Stowlangtoft Hall, Suffolk, which he 
had bought from Sir George Wombwell. 

Mr. Wilson's son and heir, Henry, was born on the 27th 
August, 1797, and on the 29th July, 1824, he married Mary 
Fuller, the eldest daughter of Ebenezer Fuller Maitland, Esq., 
of Park Place, Henley-on-Thames. His second wife, whom he 
married on i8th May, 1839, was Caroline, the only daughter 
of the Reverend the Lord Henry Fitzroy, Prebendary of 
Westminster, Rector of Easton, Suffolk, and brother to the 
Duke of Grafton. Henry Wilson was High Sheriff of Suffolk 
in 1845, and M.P. for West Suffolk. By his first wife he 
had several children, the eldest of whom. Fuller Maitland 
Wilson, was bom on the 27th August, 1825. He married in 
1852 Agnes Caroline, the daughter of the Right Honourable 
Sir R. T. Kindersley, by whom he had several children, his 
eldest son, Arthur Maidand, being born on the i6th June, 
1857. Mr. Fuller Maitland Wilson, was Lieutenant-Colonel 
of the West Suffolk Militia, and in 1873 was made High 
Sheriff of the County. 

In 1872 Mr. Fuller Maidand Wilson sold the estate of 



Little Massingham, and it was bought by Mr. William James 
Goulton, a land speculator. The latter also purchased the 
small pieces of land in the Parish which belonged to Messrs. 
T. W. and E. Coke, Mr. J. Raven, and the Marquis of 
Cholmondeley. The same year Mr. Goulton resold the 

The major part, consisting of one thousand five hundred 
and twenty-one acres, together with the advowson of the 
living, was purchased by Mr. William Walker, at that time a 
merchant of Hull ; five hundred and ten acres were bought 
by Mr. T. B. Dring of Claxby, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire, 
while the remainder, in lots of eighty-six, forty-one, thirteen, 
and five acres, were bought respectively by Mr. R. Mossop, 
Mr. W. Naylor, Mr. R. Blyth, and Mr. Thomas Foster. 
William Walker, Esq., the present lord of the manor, is 
a native of the Parish of Boston, Lincolnshire, and is the 
head of the noted firm of Messrs. William Walker and Son of 
King's Lynn. 







A LTHOUGH at the present day there are no gentry 
■^^ residing in Little Massingham, yet formerly the Parish 
was better off in this respect. This is proved by the traces 
of buildings of considerable extent existing in different parts 
of the Parish, as well as by the entries in the Parish Register. 
The de Thorpes, undoubtedly, had a Manor House here, and 
a Hall existed in the time of the Mordaunts. In addition, 
buildings of some pretension must have been erected for the 
diffet-ent gentlemen of position who dwelt at Massingham 
early in the seventeenth century. Little Massingham Hall, 
a quaint old-fashioned building, situated near the present Hall 
Farm, existed up to the present century, when, on account of 
its dilapidated condition, it was demolished by Mr. Wilson's 
order. The foundations can still be traced on dry summers 
amid the grass. In the field called Church Piece Furlong, 
huge blocks of masonry have been unearthed and removed in 



order to make way for the plough. Whether these are portions 
of an ancient Church, as tradition affirms, or the remains of a 
Castle or fortified dwelling, is uncertain. The position in 
which they were found, near the old Roman highway to the 
sea, seems to favour the latter presumption. Wells, and 
mounds covering the foundations of buildings, also exist in the 
fields near the Church and the Summer Wood. The following 
are short accounts of some members of distinguished families 
who, at one time and another, have themselves resided, or have 
been connected with residents, in Massingham Parva. 

Sir William HoUis, the ancestor of the illustrious family of 

Hollis, Dukes of Newcastle, was born at Stoke, Warwickshire, 

about the year 147 1. At an early age he went to London, where 

by his industry, integrity and providence he laid the foundation 

of the future greatness of his family. Having been made a 

member of the Mercers^ Company he was elected Sheriff of 

London (19 Henry VIIL), and in a.d. 1533 he was knighted by 

the King. Seven years later, he was elected Lord Mayor of 

London, in which capacity, attended by the aldermen and 

councillors of the City, he received Anne of Cleves, on her 

entrance into London, with a ** magnificent display of orations, 

pageants and compliments of State." Amongst other estates, 

which his great wealth enabled Sir William Hollis to purchase, 

was the manor of Flitcham. This he bought in 1539 from Sir 

Richard Cromwell. In 1 542 Sir William Hollis died, leaving four 

children — ^Thomas, William, Francis and Anne. His youngest 

son, Francis, died the next year ; William, his second and 

favourite son, settled at Haughtonin Derbyshire, in which county, 

as well as in those of Nottingham and Lincoln, vast possessions 

were bequeathed to him by his father. From him descended 

the two families of the Earls of Clare and the Barons Hollis. 



Sir Thomas HolHs, the eldest son, was a son of misfortune, 
and by his lavishness and his improvidence ruined both himself 
and his posterity. His father left him a very fair estate, yet he 
lived to spend it all and to die at last in prison. His marriage 
with Ann Payne, one of Queen Catherine's maids of honour, 
the daughter of Richard Payne of Castle Acre, standard bearer 
to Henry VIII., was an unfortunate one. The only issue of 
the marriage was a son, William. Thomas Hollis was summoned 
to attend the coronation of Edward VI. in Westminster Abbey, 
and appeared at the ceremony with a magnificent company of 
seventy followers. Two days later, both he and his brother 
William, were knighted by the King. On coming into the posses- 
sion of Poinings Manor, Flitcham, Sir Thomas passed it, together 
with the lordship of Barneston, by fine to Henry Ward for 
;^2,90o; but his wife being jointured therein, and her father, 
Richard Payne, not agreeing thereto, it came into the possession 
of the Payne family, and from thence passed into the hands of 
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. Soon after this. Sir Thomas Hollis 
was arrested on a writ of execution for debt, his lands were sold, 
and he was thrown into prison, where he subsequently died. 

The Lady Ann Hollis, his widow, became the second wife of 
Philip Mordaunt of Little Massingham, and lies buried in the 
Parish Church. Her son, William Hollis, also took up his 
residence at Massingham Parva, after his marriage with 
Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Edward Flowerdewe, one of the 
Barons of the Exchequer. By her he had four children — 
Edward, Francis, Ann and Elizabeth — the two latter being born 
and baptized at Little Massingham. Elizabeth the youngest 
child, was baptized in January, 1568 ; and, on the 2nd August 
in the same year. Amy Flowerdewe, his wife's sister, was 
married at Litde Massingham to Michael Heath, a descendant 



of the Thomas Heath, who married Elizabeth, the daughter of 
William Mordaunt. Concerning the melancholy fate of 
William HoUis' grandchild, Gervase HoUis of Grimsby writes 
thus in A.D. 1658: ** Edward's son came when I was a boy 
to see my father to desire something from him, being then 
in a wanting condition. He was about fifty years of age. 
In his youth he had been a soldier in the Netherlands, and, 
returning to England, married a Lancashire gentlewoman. 
The Earl of Clare gave to this HoUis, his kinsman, a good 
lease near Haughton, where he lived until his wife died ; but 
after her death, I know not on what discontent, the Earl took 
it away from him, and then he fell into very great poverty, and, 
shortly after, died. He had by his wife a son, Francis, and 
a daughter : which Francis, whilst he was a little boy, lost both 
father and mother and was exposed unto the most wretched 
condition, till the Earl of Clare, hearing of him in London, 
ordered his servants to bring him to his house, and caused him 
to be handsomely clad, and sent him to Haughton to be taught 
to read and write and learn French, in order that he might 
become his page. It is observable how soon the change 
in his condition altered his spirit: for, in a very short space, he 
was grown a very haughty and proud boy; and, understanding 
what he might have been, had his ancestors had more wisdom, 
he began to look with contempt on the other gentlemen, his 
fellow-servants. The Earl of Clare, telling me that to breed 
him a serving man was but to send him to his grave a beggar, 
asked my opinion into what calling he should place him, I told 
him I should like a merchant best, as, if it pleased God, he 
might the likeliest recover an estate, as his ancestors had done. 
The Earl replied that it would require a round sum of money 
to bind him an apprentice, and a good stock to set him up, 




neither of which he was inclined to contribute. So he bound 
him apprentice to a jeweller in Foster Lane, with whom he abode 
some years, until, debauched by a neighbouring apprentice, 
both of them ran away, and for these seventeen years he has 
not been seen that I could hear of. Most likely he is dead, or 
else these late troubles in England would have probably 
brought him abroad again." We shall hardly find in any 
family a greater example of the mutability of fortune : for 
the ancestor of this poor boy had a revenue from his father 
worth at this day at the least ten thousand pounds per annum, 
and had been sometime attended by a train of seventy 
followers. Thus ended this branch of the HoUises, 

Early in the sixteenth century a Thomas Callabut was 
living at Little Massingham, where a son was bom to him, 
A.D. 1563. The Callabuts were an ancient Norfolk family 
which had settled at Castle Acre as early as the reign of 
Henry VL, and Callabuts* Chapel in St. James' Church in that 
town was the family burial place. One Francis Callabut in 
1509 gave a tenement and thirty-three acres of land to be 
applied in paying the fifteenths and. other taxes of the poor 
of Hillington and of East Walton. Catherine, the mother of 
Edward Walpole, who owned land in Massingham Parva, was 
a Callabut. 

At the same time, two members of the ancient family of 
Ratclyffe were living at Little Massingham. This family 
first came into Norfolk about a.d. 141 i. John Ratclyffe, the 
founder of the House, married the heiress of Lord Fitz- Walter, 
and obtained thereby the extensive Fitz- Walter estates. For 
his services to the King he was knighted, and, eventually, raised 
to the peerage as Lord Fitz- Walter. Having espoused the 
cause of the House of York in the Wars of the Roses he was 



appointed to guard the passage at Ferry-bridge. Here he was 
slain in a surprise effected by the enemy, having only time to 
snatch up hastily a pole-axe as he rose unarmed from his bed. 
Both his brother and his son declared in favour of Perkin 
Warbeck, and, having been taken prisoners, were tried and 
executed. The estates remained eonfiscated until Henry 
VIII. restored them to Robert Ratcliffe, the grandson of Sir 
John, whom he successively created Lord Fitz- Walter, 
Viscount Fitz-Walter and Earl of Sussex. 

During the thirty years preceding the Restoration the 
following gentlemen and their households were living at 
Massingham Parva, besides the families of Sir Charles 
Mordaunt and of the Rector : — 

Thomas Chunne, James Fitz-Garold, Robert Cremer, 
William Peim, Charles Perkins, and Hugh Hovell. 

Margaret, the daughter of William Mordaunt, married 
Edmund Chunne. Richard Chunne, possibly their grandson, 
settled at Massingham Parva, where three children were born 
to him, Thomas, his heir, being baptized on 20th May, 1593. 
Richard Chunne died at Massingham early in March, 1&23. 
Thomas Chunne died unmarried, and was buried at Little 
Massingham on the 28th January, 1631. James Fitz-Garold 
married Katherine, the daughter of Richard Chunne, and died 
at Massingham after sixteen years' residence. 

Robert Cremer, and Temperance his wife, resided at Little 
Massingham at least from a.d. 1631 to a.d. 1649, during which 
time a family of twelve children was born to them. Robert 
Cremer was a member of the celebrated family of that name 
which had settled at Snettisham in the reign of Elizabeth. 
The then head of the house was John Cremer, who was a 
large landowner. He married Anne Tash, by whom he 



became the father of seven children. At his death, in the year 
1610, he was buried in Snettisham Church, and over his 
remains was placed a brass, with effigies of himself, his 
wife and his children, bearing the inscription : — 

" Si qois prseteriens rogitabit forte viator 
Memorise cujas hie lapis est positus, 
Cremerus verse cultor pietatis, alumnos 
Virtutis, vindex} conditur hoc tumulo.'' 

John Cremer, his eldest son, was knighted, and in 1660 was 
made High Sheriff of the County. He married Margaret, the 
daughter of William Boyton of Flitcham. Robert Cremer, of 
Massingham Parva may have been one of his sons. Francis, 
another of his sons, married the daughter of John Pell of 
Dersingham. Before this John Pell two declarations of 
their consent to marriage were made by certain parishioners 
of Little Massingham, at the period during the Civil War 
when the celebration of marriages in the Parish Church was 
suspended by order of the Parliament. George Cremer, a third 
so^, purchased the manor of North Runcton, of which Setch 
formed a part, from Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick. George 
and his wife, Elizabeth, were buried in Setch Church, the 
former in 1656, the latter in 1624. Their son John, who was 
afterwards knighted, died at the advanced age of eighty-nine 
years, and lies buried in Ely Cathedral. Some of the Cremers 
settled in Lynn, one of the family being Customer of the Port. 

Hugh Hovell, who, with Elizabeth his wife, lived at Little 
Massingham from 1652 to 1662, had a son and daughter born 
to him there, and buried there both of these, together with a 
third child. The Hovells were a family of very great antiquity. 
In the reign of William the Conqueror they were settled in 



Suffolk, and held lands of the Abbot of Bury. William Hovell 
of Rishanger, Suffolk, who died in a.d. 1433, married Beatrix, 
the daughter of Sir John de Thorpe, lord of Little Massingham. 
About the year 1576 Richard Hovell owned Rydon, and ten 
years later, Philip, Earl of Arundel, demised to him for a term 
of years Flitcham House, late the site of the Priory, together 
with certain manors. Flitcham Priory was an Augustinian cell 
founded by Sir Robert Aiguillon, in the reign of Henry HI., for 
canons of the Augustinian order. At the dissolution, it was 
granted to Edward, Lord Clinton : soon afterwards it came into 
the possession of Richard Cromwell, who alienated it to 
Sir William Hollis : from him it passed to the Paines and 
thence to the Duke of Norfolk, as mentioned before. 

Richard Hovell, the son of the above, after the death of his 
father in 161 1, came into the possessions of all his lands. 
Amongst these was an estate in Hillington ; and, in accordance 
with the fashion, which had been set in Elizabeth's reign, of 
building large houses in the country, he commenced the present 
Hillington Hall, which was completed in the year 1627. 
Richard Hovell, by the King's command^ also built the 
Hospital at Rysing, for which he received in payment the sum 
of ;^45i. 14s. 2d. Catherine, one of his daughters, after the 
death of her first husband, is said to have married Edward 
Mordaunt, the son of Philip Mordaunt of Massingham Parva. 

Richard, the son and heir of the above Richard Hovell, 
was knighted at Whitehall by King Charles L in 1641, and, 
by the marriage of his grand-daughter, Dorothy, with Martin 
Ffolkes, a Bencher of Gray's Inn, the estates of the family 
passed into the hands of the latter, with whose descendants 
they have since remained. 

On the 20th January, a.d. 1619, ^he marriage of Sir George 



Southcoate with Frances Sotherton, a relative of the second wife 
of Sir le Strange Mordaunt, was solemnized in the Little 
Massingham Church. The newly-married pair almost 
immediately after took up their residence in the village, where 
the year following their eldest son, Thomas, was born. 

Sir Thomas Wodehouse, a direct ancestor of the Earl 
of Kimberley, was married at Little Massingham to Anne, 
the second daughter of Sir William Airmine of Osgodby, 
Lincolnshire, on the 28th September, 1666. About a month 
after his marriage, Thomas Wodehouse was knighted by 
Charles IL On the 2nd February, 1668, a daughter, Anne, 
was born to him, and in March the year following a son, John. 
Not long afterwards Sir Thomas caught the small-pox, and 
succumbed to the disease at Kimberley in 1671. He lies 
buried in the Parish Church there, and on his tomb is the 
inscription : — 

''Thomas Wodehouse Eques Aaratns Phillippi Wodehouse Baronetti 
(id nominis secundi) primogenitus, litterarum, humanitatis, virtutum 
exemplar, cum illustrem familiam (e qua per directam supra vigioti 
equitum auratorum et baronettorum seriem transmissus) magis illustrasset, 
et se meliori seculo dignum ostendisset, tricesimo tertio peregrinationis 
suae anno (quo vivere plerique vix incipiunt) nondum peracto, orbos 
Parentes, viduam uxorem castissimam Annam (filiam et cohseredem 
GulieUni Armyn in agro Lincolniensi Baronetti) orphanos liberos lugentes 
omnes relinquens, Patriam coelestem petiit vicesmo nono die Aprilis anno 
Salvatoris Christi MDCLXXI." 

Lady Wodehouse, after the death of Sir Thomas, re-married 
twice. Her second husband was Thomas, Lord Crew of 
Stene, by whom she had four 'daughters, the eldest of whom 
married Henry de Grey, Duke of Kent, and the youngest 
Charles, Earl of Arran. Her third husband was Arthur, 
Earl of Torrington. 



Anne, Sir Thomas Wodehouse's only daughter, married, at 
the age of eighteen, Sir Nicholas le Strange of Hunstanton and 
Gressenhall. Anne became the mother of five children : Hamon 
the eldest son died while travelling in Italy : Sir Thomas, the 
second, married Anne the daughter of Sir Christopher Calthorp, 
but died issueless; Henry, the third son, and the last of the 
long line of baronets of the le Stranges, married Mary, the 
daughter of the Honourable Roger North of Rougham, but 
died without leaving any family. Of the two daughters, 
Airmine married Nicholas Styleman, the heir of the manor of 
Snettisham, one of whose sons became rector of Massingham 
Parva ; while Lucy married Sir Jacob Astley of Melton 

Both Sir Nicholas le Strange and Anne Wodehouse^ lie 
buried in the chancel of Gressenhall Church, which contains the 
following inscriptions to their memory : — 

" Sir Nicholas le Strange, Baronet, son of Sir Nicholas le Strange and 
Dame Mary his wife, bom on the 2nd December, 1661, married to Anne, 
daughter of Sir Thomas Wodehouse and Dame Anne his wife, on the 2nd 
day of December, 1686; died at Gressenhale, on the i8th day of 
December, 1724." 

" Dame Ann, relict of Sir Nicholas 1* Estrange, Baronet, only daughter 
of Sir Thomas Wodehouse of Kimberley, Kt., and of Dame Ann, second 
daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Airmine, of Osgodby, in Lincoln- 
shire, bom the 2nd February, 1668, died at Gressenhale, the loth of April, 
1727, and lies interred by her loving husband. She was a lady of most 
extensive charity, whose memoiy will long outlast this monument.** 

Sir Thomas Wodehouse's son, John, was only two years of 
age at his father s death. In 1695 he was elected a Burgess in 
Parliament for the borough of Thetford, of which town he was 
afterwards appointed Recorder. In 1701 and in 1705 he was 
re-elected to represent Thetford in Parliament, and, in the ninth 
year of Queen Anne, he was made a Knight of the Shire. By 



his first wife, Elizabeth, the sister of John, Lord Bingley, he had 
no children; by his second, Mary, the only daughter of William, 
Lord Lempster, he had four. Sophia, his only daughter, became 
the second wife of Sir Charles Mordaunt, the sixth baronet, 
of Little Massingham, and the mother of Sir John Mordaunt, 
the seventh baronet, and the Reverend Charles Mordaunt, 
rector. Sir Airmine Wodehouse, the brother of Sophia, 
married Letitia, the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Sir 
Edmund Bacon, of Garboldisham ; and Mary Bacon, another 
daughter of Sir Edmund, presented the Reverend Charles 
Mordaunt, in 1760, to certain livings in her gift. 

The Reverend William Nelson, Rector of Hillington, who 
was married to Mary Newton, of Little Massingham, in Little 
Massingham Church, on April 3rd, 1761, was the first cousin 
of the Reverend Edmund Nelson, the father of Horatio 
Nelson, the hero of the Nile and of Trafalgar. The Reverend 
William Nelson was the son of William Nelson, Esq., of 
Dunham Parva and Curds Hall, Fransham. At his father's 
decease, he inherited his estates; and, in addition to the living 
of Hillington, held in plurality that of Hilgay. By his wife, 
Mary Newton, he left three daughters, the eldest of whom 
inherited his estates. 







AT the time of the Great Survey of England, Great and 
Little Massingham formed one township. On account 
of the name being anciently written indifferently Masincham 
and Marsincham, Blomefield supposes its derivation to be the 
town on a wet or marshy common ; but all signs of marsh 
have long since disappeared. The Parish is in the Lynn 
division of the hundred of Freebridge, and lies on the high-road 
between Lynn and Fakenham. It is bounded on the north 
by the Parish of Harpley, on the east by that of Rudham, on 
the south by that of Great Massingham, and on the west by 
Hillington, Congham, and Grimston. In the immediate 
neighbourhood are Sandringham Hall, the country residence 
of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; Houghton Hall, 
one of the seats of the Marquis of Cholmondeley ; Rainham 
Hall, the residence of the Marquis Townshend; Hillington 
Hall, the residence of Sir William Ffolkes; besides the Halls 
of Anmer, West Acre, Narford, and Narborough. 

By the Tithe Commissioners' Deed of 1838, the size of the 
Parish is stated to be 2,278 acres, i rood and 38 perches 



of land, statute measure. This was at the time distributed 
as follows: — 

Arable land 
Meadow land 
Glebe ... 
Roads . . . 




... 2,047 










The quantity of cultivated land subject to the payment 
of tithes was 2,080 acres, 2 1 perches. 

At the present time, there are twenty-four inhabited 
cottages in the Parish, besides the Rectory, three farm- 
houses, the public-house, the railway-station, and two huts 
at the railway crossings. Formerly, several cottages clustered 
round the edge of the village pond, which at that time was a 
village green. The cottages, however, were not good. Both 
sexes, and of all ages, were crowded together in an improper 
manner. On a representation of the evil to Mr. Wilson, 
the Rev. C. D. Brereton was permitted to pull them down, 
and to expend a considerable sum in building the Bay Cottages 
instead. Here the labourers were housed at a rental varying 
from /"i. IDS. to ;^3 per annum. Several miserable shanties 
originally occupied the site of the High Park Cottages, one of 
which was reserved by Mr. Wilson as a kind of alms-house 
for the oldest ailing parishioner, who received in addition 
an allowance of 2 s. 6d. a- week. When the new cottages were 
built this benevolent scheme came to an end. These cottages 
bear the inscription : 

H. W. 



The population of the village at different periods during the 
present century has been : — 







The total number of births, marriages, and deaths during 
each period of fifty years, from the first year of Elizabeth 
to 1857, is as follows: — 





1558—1607 ... 




1608 1657 ... 



... 103 

1658 — 1707 ... 




1708—1757 ... 



... 123 

1758—1807 ... 



... 114 * 

1808—1857 ... 



96 + 53 

'Interments of residents in 

neighbouring parishes. 

The Rectory is an old-fashioned rambling house, pleasantly 
situated in the Church Close, on the slope of a hill overlooking 
the country as far as Sandringham. It bears traces of having 
been added to from time to time. On a plate let into the 
western wall of the house is the dated lettering f;^;\ referring 
to its foundation or restoration by either the Reverend Charles 
Mordaunt or his father. On the east side, the house is 
screened by a fine avenue of beech trees, which communicates 
with the Church : on the north-west is a shrubbery and the 



garden: while across the road, in what is now called the 
Summer Wood, are traces of the stately and picturesque 
Pleasaunce of the Mordaunts. According to the parish terriers 
the house and its outbuildings stand on 2 roods, 30 perches 
of ground ; the garden occupies i acre, i rood, 35 perches ; 
and the Church Close, which is laid down in pasture and well- 
timbered, 29 acres, 3 roods, 4 perches. 

The living is a discharged rectory. The ancient value was 
1 5 marks ; and Peter's Pence to the amount of ten pence was 
paid. The following entry occurs in the King's Book : — 

Clear Yearly Value. King's Books 

;^45 o o Mass. Parva Rect (discharged) A^chidigc^ 
80 o o 6/8 Episc. 1/4 Sir John Mordaunt 17 15. I >. 

Sir Charles Mordaunt 1725. Sir John | ^^ '^ ^ 
Mordaunt 1779 J 

In 1838 the tithes were commuted into a rent charge, the 
gross amount being ;^570, and the net ;^5t.5. 

The population of Little Massingham being so small, and 
the number of children under ten years of age averaging only 
a dozen, an independent National School has been unnecessary. 
That of Great Massingham, being only one mile distant, 
supplies all the wants of Little Massingham, independent of the 
fact that an ancient endowment has made some provision for 
the education of the male children. In the year 1676, Charles 
Calthorpe tied up a portion of the estate he owned in 
Great Massingham, to the value of ;^20, for the endowment 
of a Free School in Great Massingham. By this deed it is 
ordered that the master of the school shall be bound to 
teach twenty-five boys, if there are so many, of the parishes of 
Great and Little Massingham, and Haipley; and, if those 
parishes are unable to supply the number, then Rudham is to 



be allowed to make up the deficiency The appointment of 
the master is vested in the hands of the rectors of Great and 
Little Massingham, and of Harpley. The school was held 
originally in a room which once existed above the porch of 
Great Massingham Church, and is rendered famous by the 
fact that the brilliant Horace Walpole received there the 
rudiments of his education. In 1837 the present National 
School was built, and the Free School consolidated with it. 
The sum of ;^20 is still annually paid to the funds of the 
School by the Earl of Leicester, who owns the Calthorpe 
estate. A contribution of ;^io a year on behalf of Little 
Massingham is made to the school by the lord of the manor 
and the rector. 

The state of education in Little Massingham in 1826 is 
thus described by the Rev. C. D. Breretbn: ''There are only 
two labourers in the parish who can read. We have had 
some difficulty in filling up the parish offices of constable and 
clerk. It has been a work of difficulty to induce the parents 
to permit their children to be taught. Had I not possessed 
advantages, my attempts must have failed. More than two 
years passed away before instruction was generally accepted. 
Now, the labourers begin to take a pride and a pleasure in 
their cottages, gardens, families, and even their work. They 
subscribe a considerable sum annually to provide themselves 
clothing; they subscribe a trifle for other benevolent purposes; 
they increase from year to year, by little and little, their stock 
of furniture ; they embrace the means of instruction for their 
children, some of whom now teach their parents to read." 

On the left hand side of the high-road leading from Little 
Massingham to Harpley, on the brow of the hill which descends 



sharply to the railway station, is a wooden erection, which is of 
some interest in the educational world of Norfolk. In it, 
when it stood near the Rectory, were the class-rooms of the 
Infant Norfolk County School. 


Commences with this century, and the first page is filled with a 
list of the labourers belonging to the parish, to each of whose 
names a weekly sum, fixed by the magistrates, is annexed, 
under the title of ''flour money." In 1820 the names of all 
the labourers, without exception, appear. Biit gradually the 
tide of pauperism receded, and family after family was restored 
to comparative independence. The following are the entries 
during six years showing the gradual decline of the number 
receiving relief out of the rate : — 


Entries of Relief 



... 617 



... 587 





• ••* ••. ... 





1825 three quarters of a year ... 


In 1803 the money raised by the Parish Rates was ;^I49. 5s. 
at 3s. in the pound. 

In 181 7 the rate was ^333; in 1818, ;^39i ; in 1821, ;^i8i ; 
and in 1824, ;^253. In this last year the rate was increased by 
accidents, and an unusual church and surveyor's rate. 

"In 1824 the villages of Norfolk were not the quiet orderly 
places they are now. In Great Massingham in that year there 
were cases of burglary, issuing of base coin, sheep-, pig-, com 
and fowl-stealing, besides poaching and other offences. The 
house of one of the labourers was searched, and in it were 



found base coin, silver and gold, corn and other articles, the 
apparatus for house-breaking, — vice, files, dark lantern and fifty 
picklock-keys, which would open almost all the locks in both 
parishes. It was customary for most of the labourers to spend 
their nights gaming at this house. During the same time 
three persons were transported from Great Massingham, and 
many others imprisoned. 

** It is true (said a magistrate of the Freebridge hundred) there 
was nearly an insurrection in 1823. Some of the peasantry in 
the County attacked the house of a magistrate and committed 
other acts of violence in consequence of some misunderstanding 
respecting the modern semi-feudal regulations for their 
maintenance. Three of the unfortunate ringleaders were 
executed at Norwich. The disaffection spread, and, in the 
neighbourhood of Great and Little Massingham, it assumed a 
serious aspect. Many of the labourers of Little Massingham 
joined the movement, although in constant employment, 
having been induced to do so by the advice of the demagogues 
of the period, who informed them that, if they went to the 
magistrates in a body, the magistrates and the farmers would 
be intimidated, and the allowance and the wages would be 
raised. Yet the time of the disaffection was the moment of 
prosperity for the working class — the year in which they were 
in a position to purchase more meat and comforts than in 
any other." 

One of the peculiar signs in Little Massingham at the time 
when the Rev. C. D. Brereton became rector was the 
perpetual discontent and irritation of mind existing between 
the labourers and their employers, the cause of which was the 
interference of the magistracy between the work and the 
wages of the labourer. 



"It seems probable that the proportion of arable land to 
pasture was greater before than for some time after the 
Reformation. During the reign of Elizabeth and afterwards 
the enclosure of pasture land was discouraged, arable land was 
in fact converted into pasture, and the production of corn 
increased by an improved husbandry. A greater supply of 
meat, the consumption of which greatly increased after the 
Reformation, was afforded by attention to pastures. The 
quantity of arable land did not much increase until after the 
Revolution, from which time there has been a great quantity 
of land enclosed and brought under cultivation. At the 
Revolution probably not more than one-half, or perhaps 
one-third, of Little Massingham was cultivated as arable land, a 
great proportion was pasture, and a more considerable part heath 
and sheep walks. The ancient names of the fields and many 
other local proofs establish this fact. Early in this century 
there was scarcely any enclosed and fenced land in Little 
Massingham. In 1820 an old shepherd was living in the 
Parish whose forefathers had been from time immemorial 
gamekeepers and shepherds, and who used to point out some 
of the best farms of the neighbourhood as the walks over 
which he, as a shepherd boy, used to lead his flocks." 

There have also been great changes in the mode of 
cultivating the arable land, occasioned by the introduction of 
marling and the cultivation of turnips. The former has to a 
considerable extent ceased in consequence of the great expense 
connected with its use; the latter has been more successful and 
beneficial in its results than its introducer, Lord Viscount 
Charles Townshend, could ever have imagined, and, according 
to the farming phrase, it has been the making of the county. 
The produce of the soil has been considerably increased by the 



improved cultivation. Before the Reformation it is probable 
that in Little Massingham the average production per acre of 
all kinds of grain did not exceed twelve bushels. From the 
Reformation to the Revolution the produce greatly increased : 
from the latter period to the first quarter of this century 
the production had more than doubled. In 1825 Little 
Massingham produced 4,cxx> quarters of corn, and in 1880 
5,000 quarters. 

During the last century the cultivation of wheat greatly 
increased. The general consumption of wheaten bread was 
unknown among the working classes until about 1750, barley 
bread being their chief food. Until 1 745 scarcely any wheat 
was grown in West Norfolk. Early in 1800 not more than 
thirty or forty acres of wheat were grown in Little Massingham. 
In 1825 the cultivation had increased to between three and four 
hundred acres, and in 1880 there were about five hundred 
acres laid down in wheat. The land in the Parish is fine turnip 
and corn-growing land, and is farmed on the four-course system. 

Quite recently the Little Massingham estate has been 
considerably improved. Good blue clay suitable for making 
both white and red bricks is found in the Parish, and near at 
hand there is a stratum of good sand, and a spring of water which 
has never been known to fail even in the dryest summers. A 
Brick-yard has been made whence one million bricks are turned 
out per annum. At no great distance from this a lime-kiln has 
been erected for burning the chalk which is found beneath the 
marl and the gravel. The close proximity of these works to the 
railway-station gives the neighbourhood great facilities for 
building purposes. 

The water at Massingham being spring-water rising from 
the chalk is perfecdy safe and wholesome, and fitted for house- 


Tjfcr- fc_ 


hold purposes, and it is no harder than chalky waters usually 
are. On an average the wind blows from the N.E. or E. on 
seventy-one days in the year; S.E. or S. on seventy-five; 
S.W. or W. on one hundred and forty days ; and N.W. or N. 
on seventy-nine. The average yearly rainfall at Fakenham for 
the ten years ending 1870 was twenty-five inches. 

The convenient distance by rail from Lynn to Little 
Massingham, as well as the picturesque character of the 
surrounding scenery and the salubrity of the climate, bid fair 
to make the village, at no distant date, a favourite place of 
residence for business men and their families. 


This railway, which shortens the distance between the two 
principal market-towns of West Norfolk by twenty miles, 
opens up a new and direct communication with Norwich, 
Yarmouth and Cromer, and which is acknowledged to be a 
work of great public importance, may trace its origin to Little 

Mr. Walker, the present lord of the manor, and Mr. Brereton, 
the rector, took together the first active steps for its promotion 
in 1874 and 1875, in consequence of which several meetings 
were held at the Rectory, and were attended by the Marquis 
Townshend, Sir William Ffolkes, Mr. Walker and other 
gentlemen who were interested in the movement. After a severe 
Parliamentary contest with the Great Eastern Railway Company, 
an Act for the constructionof the line was obtained in 1876, and 
in 1878 Messrs. Wilkinson and Jarvis contracted to undertake 
the work. The line from Lynn to Massingham was opened 
on the 1 6th August, 1879, and the continuation to Fakenham 



on the 1 6th August, 1880. In the year 1880, an Act was 
obtained authorising the extension of the line to Norwich and 
Holt ; and in 1881, the important Act was passed sanctioning 
the complete connection with Yarmouth and Cromer, 
thus carrying out the fullest wishes and widest plans of the 
original promoters. 






T ITTLE Massingham Church, with its square embattled 
^^^ tower, is a small but picturesque building, standing 
amid the fine old beech and elm trees of the Close. The 
principal entrance is by the south porch, which appears to 
rest on the foundation of some still earlier building. On each 
side of this entrance are the niches which once held the 
statues of the Virgin and St. Andrew, while above it are 
two lichen-covered stone escutcheons, bearing the arms of the 
de Thorpes. The porch is lighted by small perpendicular 
windows, and around the bottom of the roof runs the inscription, 
carved in oak: — 

" The liour cometh and now is when the true wof shippers shall worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth.'* 

The Church, which is dedicated to St. Andrew, consists 
of a chancel and a nave. The nave is divided into aisles by 
octagonal pillars supporting pointed arches. On the south side 
of the Church, which faces the road, there is a clerestory, but 
none on the north. At the eastern end of the south aisle, a 
Chantry Chapel formerly existed, which was dedicated to St. Mary 





the Virgin. Here John le Strange's tomb was originally erected, 
forming, possibly, the altar, while the window above it was 
emblazoned with the arms of his family. The only memorials 
of the Chapel now existing are the piscina and the grooves, cut 
into the pillars, for supporting the screen. At the east end of the 
north aisle a railed enclosure, probably a chapel, also existed. 

A Gothic arch separates the chancel from the nave, and cut 
into the pilasters, whence it springs, are the grooves for the rood 
screen, which may have been as gorgeous as the one at Harpley. 
Through the pilaster on the south side of this arch a hagioscope 
or speculatory has been pierced. The east window was, 
at one time, a blaze of colour, being filled with the arms of 
the de Thorpes, the H engraves, the Calthorps, &c. Beneath 
it, to the right, is an ambry, which was fitted with a mouldering 
wooden shelf on its discovery in 1857. Near this is another 
double-arched piscina, abutting on a window cut to form 
sedilia. The present handsome inner roof of the chancel was 
added in 1880, by the Rev. J. L. Brereton. 

Previous to its restoration in 1857, the fabric was fitted with 
old-fashioned pews. These were removed at the time, and the 
present carved benches substituted in their place. At the same 
time the roof of the Church was repaired and re-leaded, the 
floor tiled, the pulpit erected, the font (which formerly stood 
behind the south door) removed to its present situation, and 
other improvements made, under the supervision of Mr. Jeckel, 
an architect of Norwich. He designed the very handsome 
pulpit, composed of Caen stone and marble. Not long after its 
completion, the restoration was inaugurated by a confirmation 
held in the Church by the Bishop of Norwich. 

The arch supporting the tower is, evidently, the most ancient 
portion of the Church, and is of graceful proportions. The 



architecture of the Church consists chiefly of a mixture of the 
Gothic and Perpendicular styles. 

Under the western tower is a raised tomb of grey marble 
much defaced. This is the tomb which was erected by William 
Mordaunt to the memory of John le Strange, soon after the 
death of the latter in a.d. 15 17. From its original position in 
St. Mary's Chapel, it was removed to near where the pulpit now 
stands, and si^nk until the top was flush with the floor of the 
Church. When the pavement was taken up in 1857, for the 
purpose of tiling the floor, the tomb was removed to its present 
situation. On it may still be traced the outlines of the brasses 
which once adorned it. At the head of the covering slab was a 
crucifix, and beneath it were the busts of two figures. Around 
the rim of the slab ran an inscription, and, on the sides and ends 
of the tomb, are eight escutcheons, on which hung John le 
Strangers family arms and those of his wife's family. By his 
will, John le Strange bequeathed **his body to be buried (if he 
die within five miles of Massingham) before our blessed Lady 
in the Chapel on the south side of Little Massingham Church, 
and that a tomb be made for him, and set up there in the said 
Chapel, after the manner of Sir Henry Heydon's tomb in 
Norwich, with the arms of him, his wife and his ancestors, and a 
sculpture of him and his wife, with an orate, &c: and, if his 
corpse lies in any other place, he wills that a plain stone with 
his arms and his wife's be laid over him, but that a tomb 
be nevertheless erected here." **To the Church of Little 
Massingham he bequeathed a vestment and a tunicle, after the 
rate of Sir Robert Ratclyffe's cope, with an orate, &c., of white 
damask, price eight marks, to be made after the rate of the green 
vestment at Hunstanton, with the le Strange arms, but that his 
three escutcheons have his father's arms on one side, his 



father-in-law's on the other, and his and his wife's at the tail." 
Of the earlier members of the Mordaunt family who 
lie buried in the Church no monuments exist. The 
oldest memorial of this family is a pedimented slab of black 
marble, surrounded by a framework of white and yellow 
marble, and ornamented with the arms of the Mordaunts and 
the Tollemaches, hanging on the south side of the chancel 
arch. It commemorates the death of the Cavalier Mordaunt, 
and the inscription runs thus : — 

** Sl Charls Mordaunt Knl. and Baron*«.dyed at Lond. July lo, 1648, 
aged 33. He was marled to Katharine the daught! of Sl Lionell 
Tollemache of Helmingha in Suffolk KdI & Barone^ by whom he had 
Sl Charls his eldest sonne, Katherine, Tollemache dying before his 
father, John, Henry departed also, Elizabeth and Amy." 
** Here remaines in civill trust 
His belov*d bewayled dust, 
Whose goodness is secur'd from feare 
Of finding any sepulcher." 

A marble slab beneath, which covers his remains, is inscribed : — 

*' Hie sublocantur reliquiae DniCaroli Mordaunt de Massingham, Militis 
& Baionetti, Filii & Haeredis Robti. Mordaunt Militis item & BaronHl qui 
filius fuit itidem Haeresq. Dni le Strange Mordaunt de quo Dno Carole 
plura ad murii orientalem legantor. 1648." 

Near the centre of the middle aisle is another slab, ornamented 
with the Mordaunt arms, upon which is the inscription : — 

** Carolus Mordant Barronettus Caroli Mordant Barronettiet Catherinae 
Talamach filius humanitatis et virtutis exemplar obiit an? 1664 die 24 
Aprilis anno aetatis 25. In aetemum doloris et amoris monumentum 
Elizabetha Thori Consors integerrima marmor hoc posuit. C. A. P. S. D." 

Besides these sole remaining monuments of interest, 
Blomefield records that the four following inscriptions were 
in existence at the time his history of Norfolk was written : — 


** M. S. D'na Anna, W. Risley de Bedford gen. filia et hares, D'ni Jobs. 
Mordaunt de Walton in com. Warw. bar. uxor amans et amata, casta, pia, 
fidelis, affabilitate, pudicitii, et morum suavitate, peramabilis : variolis 
malignis occidens, mortis exuvias (certi spe renascendi ad gloriam) hoc 
subter marmor deposuit. Obiit prid. non Junii anno salutis nostrae 1692, 
setatis suoe ... bis gravida et semel puerpera, heu nullam reliquit 
sobolem, quippe alteram in incunabilis, alteram in utero cum matre 
ademptum lugemos, Penelope quam solam peperit, matrem prsecedens, 
eodem quiescit sepolchro. £t sic in matemis amplexius dormire videatur. 
Vita viz inchoata recessit, prid. non. Januar. AS Christi incamati 1690." 

On a stone at the entrance of the chancel: — 

** Ossa Edv. Salter, hujus ecclesiae rectoris Maii 26, 1664." 

On a marble grave-stone engraved with the arms of the 
Hacons : — 

"Josephus Hacon, Topcroftse m agro Nor£ natus Maii 17, 1603, 
edacatus Cantabr. Coll. Eman. Coelis vixit inculpabilis, inculpatus, et 
orthodoxus hujus ecclesiae rector, annos plus minus 20 .... " 

On another stone with a brass plate : — 

"Orate p. a'i*a D*ni Jacobi Bastard, quondam rectoris istius 
ecd'ie, qui totaliter tectum hujus cancelli fieri fecit, et obt« AO. Dni. 1530^ 
cuj etc." 

In the Churchyard, close beneath the east window, the 
Reverend C. D. Brereton, his wife and two of his daughters lie 
buried. A simply ornamented slab, slightly raised above the 
ground, covers the late rector s remains, and upon it is the 
inscription : — 

" S. M. Charles David Brereton, bom 4 July, 1790. Died 15 Oct, 1868. 
During 47 years Rector of this Parish.** 





The belfry of the Church is gained by ascending a narrow 
winding staircase in the tower, and the entrance was, at one 
time, defended by a strong door. The windows of the room 
are loopholed : it is fitted with a chimney and fire-place, and it 
could have been made, like so many others in the country, a 
comfortable refuge and retreat, in case of need, during the Civil 
War. A small window, now blocked up, commanded a view 
of the altar and the interior of the Church, at which the acolyte 
stood to ring the sacring bell at the elevation of the Host. 
Overhead hang three bells, two only of which are dated. One 
of these was presented during the life of the second Robert 
Mordaunt, the other during that of Sir le Strange. The 
inscriptions on these two are in Latin characters: — 


On the third, in old English characters, is — 


The Communion plate consists of a silver flagon, a chalice 
and a paten. The flagon weighs 24 ozs. 2 dwts., and bears 
the date, 1732. Possibly it was the gift of Sir Charles 
Mordaunt, the sixth baronet, whose son became Rector of the 

The early Parish Registers are on parchment and date from 
the first year of Queen Elizabeth. All the entries, however, up 
to the year A.D. 1 599, have been copied from some earlier record, 
in accordance with a Canon published in the reign of Elizabeth, 



by which it was enacted that all registrations which had been 
effected upon paper records should be transcribed upon 
parchment. John Clarke, the copyist, has signed his name at 
the foot of each page of the Registers up to this date, and the 
entries are countersigned by the Reverend Thomas Hawley, 
who was presented to the living by the Crown in a.d. 1591. 

A copy of the births, marriages and deaths which took 
place in the Parish from a.d. 1558 until a.d. 1660 will be found 
at the end of this book. 


Collected Ffebruary the 5^^ (64) towards the repaire of ye 
Church of Tynmouth, in the County of Northumberland, 3 

Collected March ye 5^ (64) towards the maintenance of the 

ministers of in Alsatia, a province in Germany, 

the sume of 2 shillings five pence. 

Collected March ye 12^ (64) towards ye relief of Henry 
Lyste (?) of Gilbrough, in the Northridinge of ye County of 
York, distressed by fine the sume of 2 shillings and 3 pence. 

1665. Collected April the 2°^ towards the repairing of the 
Parish Church of Basing, in the County of Southampton, 
the sume of 2 shillings and one penny. 

Collected April the 16*^ towards the repairinge of the Parish 
Church of St. Maryes in ye ciyty of Chester the sum of 2s. id. 

Collected September ye 3rd (1665) towards ye reliefe of John 
Wayht distressed by fine, ye sume of 2 shillings. 




Collected March 24, 1666, towards ye reliefe of Roger 
Rogers of Dover, ye summe of 2 shillings eight pence. 

Collected in Ffebruary, 1666, towards ye reliefe of John 
Osburne, ye sume of 2 shillings 3 pence. 

There is an acre of land belonging to the Parish in what 
is called the Nine Acre Field, the rent of which is given 
to the parish clerk. It is unknown by whom the bequest 
was made. 














de Ash well. He and his brother, Sir J ohn Ash well, 

sold the manor of Ashwell near Thorpe to Sir John 
de Thorp. 


Hugh de Ashwell. 

Walter Coleman, presented by the Lady Beatrix, widow 
of Sir Robert de Thorp. 

Alexander-atte-Mere, presented by the Lady Beatrix. 
He was transferred from Wreningham to Massingham, 
whence, later on, he was promoted to the living 
of Ashwell-Thorpe. 

John Lovesire, by the Lady Beatrix. 

Jeffrey Kemp, by the Lady Beatrix. The same year he 
was made Chaplain of the Free Chapel of St. Mary 
the Virgin at Ashwell, and in 1349 was promoted to 



the living of Ashwell-Thorpe. The Kemps are an 
ancient Saxon family which settled in the County of 
Norfolk, and lived at Gissing for centuries. 

1374. John R , died Rector. 

1374. Jeffrey de Bumpstede^ presented by Thomas de 
Bumpstede, citizen of Norwich. 

1401. Edmund-atte-Hill, presented by John Herr of Cam- 

1432. John Totyll, presented by Philip Tilney. 

1433. Richard Tydde, ditto. 

1434. William Pyvyle, ditto. 

1458. Henry Abraham, presented by Sir John Bourchier, 
during the minority of Elizabeth Tilney. 

John Scarlet. 

1468. John Palmer, presented by Humphrey Bourchier and 
Elizabeth his wife. 

1507 — 1558. Sir James Bastard, presented by the Earl of 
Surrey. During his incumbency, a new roof was 
added to the chancel of the Church. The Bastards 
were an old Norfolk family, lords of Dunham Magna. 
Sir James was buried at Little Massingham on the 20th 
August, 1558. This date is taken from the entry in 
the Parish Register, but Blomefield, on the authority 
of an inscribed tombstone which does not now exist, 
makes his death to have occurred in 1530. 

1558. Thomas Burre, presented by Robert Mordaunt. 

1561. John Nowell, S.T.B., Dean of Bocking, Essex. The 
No wells were probably followers of the Lacys out of 
Normandy, and from that illustrious family the 
Nowells, Earls of Lincoln were descended. One of 
the Nowells, Dean of St. Paul's, London, attended 



the Duke of Norfolk at the time of his execution on 
Tower Hill in 1572. 

1569. Henry Warren, S.T.B., presented by Queen Elizabeth. 

1570— 1591. Roger Brearwood, presented by Robert Mordaunt. 
He was the first married rector of Little Massingham, 
having solemnized matrimony in the Parish Church 
on the 2nd October, 1570, with Alice Ffishpoole, the 
daughter of a parishioner. On the accession of 
Edward VI. the marriage of the Clergy was permitted 
to take place without the risk of penalties, but, at the 
same time, it was discountenanced, generally. When 
Mary succeeded to the throne, she ordered the depri- 
vation of all Priests who had contracted matrimony. 
In 1558 Mary died, and the year following Elizabeth, 
in Injunction XX I X., after declaring that the marriage 
of the Clergy was not forbidden by the Word of God, 
nor by the custom of the Primitive Church, draws 
attention to the fact that evils had arisen ** through 
lack of discreet and sober behaviour in many Ministers 
of the Church, both in choosing of their wives and 
indiscreet living with them," and orders that no 
Priest or Deacon shall marry without the sanction of 
the Bishop and of two Justices of the Peace, together 
with the goodwill of the woman's nearest kinsfolk, 
**or, for lack of knowledge of such, of her master or 
mistress where she serveth." Roger Brearwood was 
buried at Little Massingham on the 1 5th August, 1 59 1. 

1 591 — 1602. Thomas Hawley, presented by Queen Elizabeth, 

on account of the lunacy of James Mordaunt. The fact 

that Mr. Hawley bore the name of Thomas, which was 

passed on to his son, born at Little Massingham and 




1 59 1 — 1602. buried at Great Massingham, seems to favour the 
presumption that there was a desire to perpetuate this 
name, and coupling with this the fact that he was a 
Crown nominee, the supposition gains force, that he 
may have been the son of, or intimately related to, 
Thomas Hawley, Rouge Croix and Clarencieux. 
This Thomas Hawley was originally a messenger to 
Henry VIII. In a.d. i 5 i 3 he accompanied the Earl 
of Surrey to Scotland in the capacity of Rouge Croix, 
which office he filled with singular judgment, as is 
mentioned both in the chronicles and the ballads 
commemorative of the Battle of Flodden. When 
King James received at the mouth of Rouge Croix 
the challenge from the Earl of Surrey to do battle in 
the plains, he made him prisoner, lest he should 
disclose to the English the condition of his army. 
After the battle he was liberated, and conveyed the 
news of the victory, together with a part of the skirt 
of James's coat as a proof of his death, to Queen 
Catherine. Catherine immediately despatched him 
with a letter and the token to Henry in France. As 
a mark of approval, Henry soon after created him a 
Herald, and, in that capacity, he assisted at the 
ceremony which took place on the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold. Having espoused the cause of the Lady 
Jane Grey he was treated as disaffected by Mary, 
although not deprived of his office. He regained 
some portion of her favour by the way in which he 
acted in Sir Thomas Wyatt's insurrection, prevailing 
on that rash man to submit to the Queen's authority 
rather than sacrifice more valuable lives. He was a 


1 591 — 1602. great favourite with Henry VIII., Edward VI. 
and, latterly, with Mary. He lived at the Barbican, 
London, where he died on the 22nd August, a.d. 
1557. Two days afterwards, he was buried in the 
Church of St. Giles without Cripplegate, having a 
very splendid funeral, at which ** were carried his 
coat armour, pennons, escutcheons of arms, two white 
branches, twelve staff-torches, four great tapers and a 
crown. After the dirge, the heralds who attended 
went to Mr. Green's, a man of note, being wax 
chandler to Cardinal Pole, who lived near, where they 
had spice bread and cheese and wine in great plenty. 
On the morrow Mass was celebrated and a sermon 
preached, after which a great dinner was given to 
which all the heralds and all the chief parishioners 
were invited." Two children were born to the 
Reverend Thomas Hawley at Little Massingham. 
Mr. Hawley died and was buried there on 30th 
October, 1602. Over his son's remains in Great 
Massingham Church was placed an inscribed stone: — 

** In memory of Thomas Hawley, gent, buried November 4th, 1659," 

1603 — 16 1 6. Andrew Pilkington, presented by le Strange 
Mordaunt. His brother James was living at Little 
Massingham in 1609 when a child was born to him, 
and the next year, James was presented by Sir Hamon 
le Strange to the living of Holm-next-the-Sea. The 
Pilkingtons are an ancient Saxon family of the County 
of Lancaster, "The good old Bishop of Durham,'* 
Dr. James Pilkington, was a member of this House. 
Andrew Pilkington was buried at Little Massingham 
on the 29th August, 16 16. 



1616 — 1620. Edward Thorowgood, presented by Sir le 
Strange Mordaunt. About this time, a Sir Anthony 
Thorowgood was living in or near Lynn, and a Robert 
Thorowgood was Customer and Collector of that port. 
The Thorowgoods would appear to have been stern 
Puritans. Robert Thorowgood, in 1656, was elected 
Mayor of Lynn, and, at the close of the year 1662, a 
Commission was appointed by Charles II. to regulate 
the Corporation of Lynn, by whose authority he was 
expelled from his office of alderman, and one Owen 
Barnes elected in his stead. A Sir John Thorowgood, 
who resided at Grimston in the middle of the 1 7th 
century, presented to St. Margaret's Church in Lynn 
the first set of chimes for the bells. In 1726 he also 
made a grant of a house and five acres of land for the 
better maintenance of the school-master of Grimston. 
The Reverend Edward Thorowgood died at Massingham 
Parva, and was buried there on the 7th December, 1 620. 

1 62 1 — 1643. Thomas Thorowgood, presented by William 
Thorowgood hac vice. Mr. Thorowgood entered at St. 
John's College, Oxford, where he took his bachelor's 
degree in 1609 ^^^ ^^^ master's in 161 2. He was 
afterwards made a B.D., and an S.T.B. in 1624, He 
was a man of considerable learning and ability, and was 
in 1643 chosen to be a Member of the Assembly of 
Divines. On the 26th December, 1644, he preached 
a sermon before the House of Commons on 
** Moderation Justified," from Phil. iv. 5, which was 
afterwards published. He also published in 1650 a 
pamphlet on **the Jews in America: or, probabilities 
that Americans are of that race," which drew a learned 




162 1 — 1643. reply from John Durie, a clever Scotchman 
residing at Oxford, called ** Epistolical Discourses to 
Mr. Thomas Thorowgood concerning his conjecture 
that the Americans are descended from the Israelites/' 
In 1644, Mr. Thorowgood paid a visit to Sir Roger 
le Strange, then lying in Lynn under sentence of death 
for treason plotted against the Commonwealth, in 
order to try and induce him to subscribe the Covenant. 
Mr. Thorowgood seems to have been an intimate 
friend of Sir Henry Spelman, according to the 
following extract from Magna Britannia Antiqua et 
Nova, 1724: — **The Impropriation of Middleton 
happened to be part of Sir Henry Spelman's 
estate when he wrote a tract to dissuade from a 
profanation of churches and to persuade a restitution 
of tithes and impropriations. Wherefore that he 
might not preach but practise, he took a course for 
disposing of it for the augmentation of the vicarage 
and make thereby a further addition to Congham 
(his birthplace), which was yet but a small living. 
While he lived he never put up any part of the 
rent, but disposed of it to augment the vicar's 
portion, as Mr. Thorowgood, a neighbouring divine, 
advised, to whom he gave power, after his death, to 
augment it further, which he has done and hath 
a surplusage to purchase in the Impropriation of 
Congham." Mr. Thorowgood was Rector of 
Grimston in 1650. 

1643^—1662. Joseph Hacon, presented by Sir Charles Mordaunt. 
Mr. Hacon was a native of Topcroft, Norfolk, 
where he was born on the 17th May, 1603, He was 



1643 — 1662. educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and, 
after entering Holy Orders, was made Rector of 
Massingham in his 40th year. Having buried the 
Cavalier Sir Charles Mordaunt, he was a few years 
after sworn in before Edmund Cremer, J. P., as 
Registrar of the Parish. He was buried at 
Massingham Parva on the i8th September, 1662. 

1662 — 1664. Edward Salter. The Salters were a family of 
some consequence settled at North Wootton, in the 
middle of the sixteenth century. Robert Salter, 
gent., left ;^20 at his death to North Wootton Church, 
and ;^30 to be distributed amongst the poor. 
William Salter was Vicar of North Wootton in 1560. 
Both Edward Salter and his wife lie buried at 
Massingham Parva. 

1664 — 1673. Robert Lockwood. He is the first and only 
Incumbent who styles himself ** Minister of Little 
Massingham," his predecessors and successors 
signing the Registers as Rectors. He was buried at 
Little Massingham on the ist September, 1673. 

1 6 74 — 1 7 1 5. Charles Preston. He resided at Little Massingham 
until the year 1683, during which time four children 
were born to him. After that date, for thirty-two 
years, the Parish was in the charge of Curates. 
The first of these, Benjamin Squire, lived there 
from 1683 until the beginning of 1689. A 
Benjamin Squire was Rector of Congham in 1723. 
From 1689 until 1715 (the latter date being the year 
of his death) Samuel Healy was Curate. 

1 71 5 — 1724. Thomas Grigson, presented by Sir John 



1725 — 1752. Charles Squire. He held in plurality the 
livings of Little Massingham and Congham. On 
the 21st May, 1730, he was nominated to the Head 
Mastership of the King s Lynn Grammar-School, and 
held the post for nine years. He lies buried in 
Congham Church under a marble tombstone, upon 
which was inscribed : — 

** H. S.E. Carolus Squire, A.M., Schols Lennensis, 
p. annos novem praeceptor Celebris, ecclesiae hujus et de 
Massingham Pa. rector dignissimus, sacerdos doctus, 
pius probos, vir varia et perpolita eruditione omatus, 
historids et humanioribus in Uteris maxime versatos, 
amicus plane simplex, comes jucundissimus, desidera- 
tissimus. Obt. 20 Aug., 1752, setat. 56. Marito 
Optimo, uxor moerens posuit." 

1752 — 1760. Ayrmine Styleitian, presented by Sir Charles 
Mordaunt. The Stylemans were lords of the 
manor of Snettisham, where they had settled in the 
seventeenth century. Ayrmine le Strange, the sister 
of Sir Henry le Strange of Hunstanton, the last of the 
long line of baronets of that illustrious House, married 
Nicholas Styleman, lord of Snettisham. Her third 
son was named Ayrmine after the family of her 
grandmother, Anne Ayrmine, the daughter of Sir 
William Ayrmine, who was married to Sir Thomas 
Wodehouse of Kimberley, in Little Massingham 
Church, in 1666. Ayrmine Styleman married the 
daughter of James Blakeway, of the Royal Navy, by 
whom he had seven children. Ayrmine was the 
cousin of Sir Charles Mordaunt's second wife, the 
daughter of Sir John Wodehousej and, having entered 
Holy Orders, the living of Little Massingham was 


1752 — 1760. offered to him by Sir Charles Mordaunt on the 
death of Mr. Squire. In 1754 his uncle, Sir Henry 
le Strange, presented Mr. Styleman to the living of 
Ringstead St. Peter, which he held in plurality. Mr. 
Styleman does not appear to have taken any active part 
in the parochial matters of Massingham, the charge of 
the Parish being intrusted to Edmund Nelson, Rector 
of Congham, for a number of years from a.d. 1752. 
In 1760 the vacant Rectorship of Snettisham was 
offered to Mr. Styleman by his brother, and, on its 
acceptance, he resigned the livingof Little Massingham 
in favour of the Reverend Charles Mordaunt. 
1 76 1 — Charles Mordaunt, presented by his father, Sir 

Charles Mordaunt. The same year Charles Mordaunt 
was presented by Mary Bacon, a connection of 
the family by marriage, to the Rectory of Ryburgh 
Magna and the Vicarage of Ryburgh Parva ; and the 
next year, by the same Patron, to the living of Egmere. 
Edmund Nelson being still in charge of Little 
Massingham, Mr. Mordaunt did not appear there until 
1772. Two years afterwards, he married Charlotte, 
the daughter of Sir Philip Musgrave, Bart, of 
Kempton Park, and brought his young wife to the 
Rectory House, which had recently been restored. 
Here they lived for a few years, and on the 26th 
March, 1776, a son and heir was born to them, who 
eventually succeeded his father in the Rectorship. 
The child was baptized at Massingham on the 1 7th of 
April in the same year, and was named Charles, after 
his father and his ancestors. In the north transept 
window of Ryburgh Church there is a coat of 



arms dated 1 769, supposed to be that of the Reverend 
Charles Mordaunt. 
18.., — 1820. Charles Mordaunt, presented by Sir Charles 
Mordaunt. Soon after his presentation to the living, 
Charles Mordaunt quitted Massingham for good, and 
the care of the Parish was again intrusted to a 
succession of Curates: — 

1804. T. H. D. Hoste, Curate. 

1 807 — 1 8 1 o. William Wodehouse, Curate. 

18 1 2 — 1820. Thomas Bland, Curate. 

The Reverend Charles Mordaunt, who came in 
for an estate at Badgworth, Somerset, married 
Frances, the daughter of James Sparrow, of Flax 
Bourton. A son, John, was born to them in 181 5. 
The Reverend Charles Mordaunt died on the 22 nd 
January, 1820. 
1820 — 1867. Charles David Brereton, presented by Joseph 
Wilson, Esquire. Mr. Brereton was the second son 
of John Brereton, Esquire, of Brinton, in the county of 
Norfolk, where this branch of the ancient Cheshire 
family of the Breretons had resided during several 
generations. He graduated at Queen's College, 
Cambridge, in 18 13. Mr. Brereton was the author 
of several pamphlets on the Poor Law, &c., which 
contributed not a little to the condemnation and 
abrogation of the mischievous Allowance System. 
He was appointed Rural Dean by Bishop Stanley, 
and was possessed of considerable influence with all 
classes of society, both in the County and the Diocese. 
For some years he held, conjointly with Massingham 
Parva, the living of Framlingham Earl and Bixley, 



near Norwich. He resigned the latter living in 
i860, and, as Patron, presented it to his eldest 
son, the Reverend Charles David Brereton. In 1867 
he also resigned the living of Little Massingham, 
but continued to live there, with his third son 
and successor in the Rectorship, until his death on 
the 15th October, 1868. His widow, the daughter 
of Joseph Wilson, Esquire, also died at Little 
Massingham Rectory on the 17th of March, 1880, 
and, like her husband, was singularly respected and 
1867. Joseph Lloyd Brereton, presented by Fuller Maitland 
Wilson, Esquire. Mr. Brereton, the third son of the 
Revd. C. D. Brereton, was born at Little Massingham 
Rectory on the 19th October, 1822. He was sent to 
Rugby in 1837, and remained in Dr. Arnold's sixth 
form until the end of 184 1. A year later, he entered 
University College, Oxford, having obtained an 
open scholarship, and, in the following year, he 
gained the Newdigate Prize for an English poem 
on the Batde of the Nile. Having taken his 
bachelors degree in 1847, he was ordained Deacon 
and Priest at Norwich by Bishop Stanley, and served 
successively the Curacies of St Edmund's, Norwich, 
St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, London, and St. James', 
In 1852 he was presented by the Baroness Basset, 
to the living of West Buckland in the county of 
Devon, which he held until 1867, when he succeeded 
his father, who, in that year, resigned the living of 
Little Massingham. While in Devonshire, Mr. 



Brereton exerted himself to improve the education of 
the middle-classes, and, by the encouragement and 
the co-operation of Earl Fortescue, K.G., Lord 
Lieutenant of the County, he succeeded in establishing 
the first County School. The value of this under- 
taking was recognised by Bishop Phillpotts, who 
marked his approval by offering to Mr. Brereton in 
1858 a Prebendal Stall in Exeter Cathedral. At the 
same time he expressed his belief that the best solution 
of a very difficult problem had been found. Earl 
Fortescue also manifested his appreciation by 
placing in the School a bust of Mr. Brereton with 
the following inscription: — 

"In grateful acknowledgment of the genius that 
planned, and of the liberality, energy and judgment 
that effected, the establishment of the Devon County 
School, this bust was presented to the School by Hugh, 
Earl Fortescue, K.G., 1861." 

On coming into Norfolk, Mr. Brereton was encouraged 
by some of the principal residents in the County 
to attempt the foundation of a similar Public School 
for the middle-classes. Here, also, the Lord- 
Lieutenant, the Earl of Leicester, K.G., supported 
the project, and on the 14th of April, 1873, 
H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, accompanied by 
H. R. H. the Princess of Wales, laid the foundation 
stone of the buildings near Elmham, in the centre 
of the County. 

In close connection with these schools, and in 

continuation of the same public object, Mr. Brereton 

has succeeded in procuring the establishment at 

Cambridge of a new College, where students can 



enter the University at an earlier age than has 
been usual, and can keep terms under collegiate 
discipline, with board and tuition and University fees 
included, at the moderate annual charge of eighty 
guineas. To this College His iGrace the Duke 
of Devonshire, K.G., Chancellor of the University 
of Cambridge, has given great encouragement and 
support, permitting it to bear the name of Cavendish 
Mr. Brereton is further engaged in plans for extending 
to girls and women similar advantages of graduated 
education. In addition to this educational work 
Mr. Brereton has, like his father, taken an active 
part in questions of agricultural and rural interest. 
He also, at an earlier date, personally took special 
pains to secure for Norfolk the advantages of a new 
and complete railway system. 

1 20 






nPHE foundation of this manor was laid by Robert, lord 
•*- of Massingham Magna, who, shortly after the erection 
of the Priory at Castle Acre, bestowed upon it some of his 
property in Great Massingham. The manor was further 
increased by grants made by neighbouring landowners, and the 
following lands were bequeathed to it in Little Massingham : 
— One acre by Ralph, two acres by Ordinarius, tep acres 
by Sir Robert de Thorp, and five by Sir Hugh de Thorp. 
At the dissolution of the Castle Acre Priory, in a.d. 1537, a 
grant of all the lands belonging to it was made by Henry VHI. 
to Thomas Howard, the third Duke of Norfolk, the eldest 
son of Elizabeth Tilney, to whose sad fate reference has been 
made previously. From the Duke of Norfolk these lands 
passed into the possession of the Walpoles, The Walpoles are 
a very ancient and distinguished Norfolk family, and have 
given a Chancellor to the University of Cambridge, a Bishop 
CO the Church, a Prime Minister to the State, and a genius 
to the Republic of Letters. The present head of the family is 
the Earl of Orford. The first Walpole who owned land in 



Little Massingham seems to have been John Walpole, a 
celebrated and wealthy barrister, who lived in the reigns of 
Edward VI. and Mary. His favourite residence was at 
Harpley, the adjoining parish to Massingham on the north. 
I^ I553» John Walpole was elected M.P. for Lynn, and, two 
years afterwards, he was made a Serjeant-at-Law. His success 
as a barrister rapidly increased his wealth, and, as fast as he made 
money, he invested it in land in different parts of the country. 
Amongst other estates he purchased Felthams and Monk's 
Manors in Great Massingham, to the latter of which belonged 
the land in Little Massingham once owned by the Prior of 
Castle Acre. John Walpole died three weeks before Queen 
Maiy, and, on the 3rd of November, he was interred with great 
pomp in the Church of St. Dunstan's, London. An eye-witness 
describing the solemn pageant says: — ** There were in 
attendance all the Judges and the Serjeants of the Coif, and 
men of the law a two hundred, with two white branches, twelve 
staff torches and four great tapers, and priests and clerks, and 
the morrow the Mass of Requiem." 

By his wife, Jane Knyvett — who was the grand-daughter of 
John Bourchier, Lord Berners, atone time heir of Massingham 
Parva — ^John Walpole left behind him an only son, William, 
aged fourteen years. The guardianship of this child was left to 
the Bishop of Ely, who was authorized to charge the expenses 
connected with the boy s education upon the manor of 
Felthams, in Great Massingham. His widow was to^ 
enjoy a life-interest in his estates, after which they were 
to go to his son. Jane Walpole, subsequently, married 
Mr. Thomas Scarlett, who, with Mr. Robert Coke (father 
of the celebrated Sir Edward Coke), was co-executor of 
her husband's will. 



William Walpole remained under the care of the Bishop of 
Ely until* the latterwas thrown into the Tower for refusing to take 
the oath of supremacy to Queen Elizabeth. He then removed 
to London, and took up his residence with Mr. Blackwell, 
the Town Clerk of the City, whose daughter he afterwards 
married. After this event, William Walpole and his wife 
settled in Sussex, which was at that time the centre of the 
iron-smelting industry of the kingdom. H ere he erected a large 
foundry, and was rapidly making the enterprise a commercial 
success, when the Government interfered, in consequence 
of his making cannon for exportation. He thereupon threw 
up his business and retired to Norfolk, where he purchased an 
estate in North Tuddenham, and not long after died. His 
marriage with Mary Blackwell had been an unhappy one, and, 
in consequence of there being no issue by it, after making due 
provision for his wife, he settled his extensive estates on 
Edward Walpole, his cousin. By his will he left, amongst other 
legacies, " all his lands and tenements in Great Massingham 
and Little Massingham unto Mary my well-beloved wife for life, 
the remainder thereof unto my cousin, Edward Walpole. To 
Martin Diat, my servant, messuage, lands and tenements in 
Little Massingham. To William Michell, my godson, and 
Mary, his wife, eight acres in Little Massingham." 

Edward Walpole, the eldest son of John Walpole of 
Houghton, and Catherine Calibut, his wife, was about twenty- 
five years of age at his cousin^s death. Brought up ia 
Protestant, he was, much to the grief of his parents, induced 
by his cousin, Henry Walpole of Docking, to enter the 
Roman Catholic Church. So serious was the breach of 
his home peace in consequence, that his position became 
unbearable, and, at last, his parents, with undeserved harshness, 



turned him out of doors. Having attempted to leave England 
without a licence, Edward Walpole was arrested while in the 
act of embarking, and taken before the Lords of the Council. 
In consequence of his being the heir to his wife's estates the 
Earl of Leicester interested himself in the young man's favour, 
and, through his intercession, he was released. He then 
returned to Norfolk, and, having been offered a home by his 
cousin, William, at Tuddenham, he gladly accepted it — thus 
becoming the means of effecting a reconciliation between the 
long-parted husband and wife of that household. Shortly 
after William Walpole's death, the Earl of Leicester also died, 
and Amy Robsart's estates, which had been settled on Robert 
Dudley for life, descended to Edward Walpole as her heir ; but 
Edward Walpole' s father being also dead, and having, by his will, 
disinherited his eldest son and made his second son, Callabut, 
his heir, Edward, by reason of a noble scruple of conscience, 
relinquished his right to her lands in favour of his brother. 

On the landing of John Gerard, a Jesuit, on the coast of 
Norfolk, Edward Walpole enthusiastically threw himself into 
the furtherance of the object of his mission, and rendered him 
great assistance in his interviews with the Roman Catholics 
of Grimston, Anmer and Harpley. Hearing, however, that 
his cousin, Henry, to whom he owed his conversion, was 
confined in a miserable prison at Flushing, which had been 
occupied by the English, he despatched a messenger with his 
ransom and a letter, informing him that he would join 
him abroad immediately he had been able to put his affairs in 
order. Having parted with some of his estates and purchased 
a licence to travel, Edward Walpole embarked from England 
and arrived in Brussels in the fall of the year 1590. Having 
received from his cousin letters of introduction to several 



dignitaries of the Papal Court at Rome, he, subsequently, set 
out for that city, and, in 1592, was induced to take Orders, 
vowing, at the same time, to serve the Papal Cause in England 
whenever his services should be required. 

The period to which his licence to travel extended having 
almost expired, Edward hastened to England, in order to save 
his estates from confiscation. To his surprise, he found on 
landing that the fact of his Ordination at Rome had transpired, 
and that a warrant for his apprehension had been issued. He 
thereupon fled to Belgium, where he soon after entered the 
Society of Jesus. Directly the news of this step reached 
England, he was indicted for a supposed conspiracy done at 
Rome four years previously: a sentence of outlawry was issued 
against him, and his estates were dqclared to be forfeited to the 
Crown. Notwithstanding that it was death for a Jesuit father 
to set foot on English soil, Edward Walpole landed in Norfolk 
three years afterwards, and, though chased by pursuivants 
from hiding-place to hiding-place, he managed to elude 
the grasp of the law during the remainder of Elizabeth's reign. 
On the accession of James I., his brother, Callabut, obtained 
his pardon. For thirty-nine years, Edward Walpole laboured 
in England as a devoted servant of his Order and his Church, 
and died in London on the 3rd November, 1637, at the age 
of seventy-eight. 

Callabut Walpole is said to have bought back into the family 
all Edward's confiscated estates. Eventually, Monk's Manor 
in Great Massingham came into the possession of the noble 
family of Coke, Earls of Leicester, and that portion of it lying 
in Little Massingham was parted with to Mr. Goulton as 
before stated. 






TDEFORE the year 1 260, Nicholas le Syre of Massingham 
-^ Magna had founded in that village a Priory for 
Augustinian monks, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin and 
St. Nicholas. The founder gave to this Priory, among other 
gifts, "one messuage, a mill, and two carucates of land in 
Massingham Magna and Parva." In a.d. 1346, the Prior held 
the fourth part of a knight's fee in Massingham Magna and 
Parvaof the then Earl Marshall, and in a.d. 1399, lands lying in 
both parishes of the fee of Roger Mortimer. This Mortimer 
was cousin to Richard II., and heir presumptive to the Crown. 
Having been appointed Lieutenant of Ireland, he, in company 
with the Duke of Gloster and the Earls of Rutland and 
Northampton, and attended by one hundred men-at-arms, two 
hundred archers on horseback, and four hundred archers on foot, 
proceeded to Ireland to suppress an insurrection. He was 
subsequently made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and, in a.d. 



1 399, having adventured himself in front of his soldiers in a 
skirmish with the Irish kernes, he was slain. Directly the news 
reached England, Richard II. prepared an expedition in order to 
avenge his kinsman's death, with which he set sail for Ireland, 
and thereby lost his crown. Roger Mortimer was the great 
grandfather of two Kings of England. His grandson was the 
famous Duke of York, whose ambition deliiged England with 
blood, and of whom Shakspeare makes Henry VI. indignantly 
to inquire, when finding him one day seated on the Throne of 
England: — 

** What title hast thou, traitor, to the Crown ? 
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York ; 
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. 
I am the son of Henry the Fifth ! " 

York's ambition was laid low on the Field of Wakefield, and 
his head raised high on the Micklegate at York to enforce 
Queen Margaret's biting jest : — 

** That York might overlook the town of York." 

In the year 1475, St. Mary's Priory being in a decayed state 
and the lands wasted, it was united to the West Acre Priory, 
and became a Cell for two canons and two poor men belonging 
to that house. In a.d. 1553 West Acre Priory was granted to 
Sir Thomas Gresham, and the lands in Little Massingham, 
which had been bestowed in aid of the endowment of St. 
Mary's Priory, fell into his hands. 

Sir Thomas Gresham, who came of an ancient Norfolk family, 
was the son of a rich London merchant. After studying at 
Gonville Hall, Cambridge, he became a member of the Mercers 
Company, London, and, in 1552, was sent, by the King's orders, 



to Antwerp as his factor. His predecessor in the office having 
greatly mismanaged the royal affairs, Gresham, in two years, 
not only paid off a heavy loan, but, also, entirely restored the 
King s credit. On the accession of Mary he was dismissed 
from office, being a Protestant, but was afterwards reinstated 
when the character of his services to the Crown had been 
fully enquired into.* He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 
and appointed her Ambassador at Brussels, but he was 
compelled to leave his post when the troubles of 1568 broke 
out. One of the greatest changes made by Sir Thomas in 
the commercial life of England was the obtaining of loans from 
the merchants of London for the purposes of the State, 
instead of from foreigners as hitherto. As a man, he was 
renowned for his generosity and magnificent hospitality. The 
sad death of his son led him to devote a large portion of his 
wealth to the erection of the Royal Exchange, London. He 
died suddenly, in 1579, leaving the greater part of his extensive 
estates to his widow. The Little Massingham land attached 
to St. Mary's Priory eventually came into the hands of the 
Walpoles, whence it was transmitted to the Marquis of 
Cholmondeley, by whom^ six acres (of which apparently it 
was composed) were sold to Mr. Goulton. 





A BOUT the year 1206, Sir Robert de Narford and Alice, 
-^^ his wife, founded the Abbey of North Creyke, and 
vested the patronage in the Crown. One or more of the 
lords of Massingham Parva assisted in its endowment, by the 
bequest of land in Massingham Parva. In all probability the 
chief benefactor was Sir John de Thorpe, who, about a.d. 1290, 
inherited through his grandmother the North Creyke estates. 
In A.D. 1506, the last Abbot having died, and, there being no 
Chapter in existence to elect another, the Abbey was dissolved, 
and a grant of it and of its lands was made by Henry VII. to 
his mother, Margaret, Countess of Richmond. After the 
death of her third husband, being then sixty-three years of 
age, Margaret Beaufort took a vow of chastity and of 
devotion to charitable works. ** Counting herself as of the 
Lancaster line, heir of all King Henry VI's godly intentions," 
in furtherance of one of them, she caused inquiries to be 
instituted as to the condition in which ** God's House" in 
Cambridge was. Finding that there were only three Fellows 
and the Master in existence, she richly endowed the College, 



altering its name at the same time to ** Christ's." Amongst 
her bequests, were the lands belonging to the Abbey of Creyke. 
*'By a deed dated 20 November, 151 1, Thomas Thompson, 
D.D., Master of Christ's College, and the Fellows, etc., demised 
to John r Estrange of Massingham Parva, Esqre., all their 
lands, tenements, rents, services, fold courses in Massingham 
Parva and Harpley, lately belonging to Creke Abbey, for 
sixty years, paying jC2> P^r annum and all taxes, tithes, &c." 

From John le Strange these lands, with the rest of his 
property, passed into the possession of the family of Mordaunt, 
by the marriage of Barbara le Strange with Robert Mordaunt, 
and from them that portion situated in Massingham Parva has 
descended to the present owners. 












1559. Edward Alexander & Joan Buminge were marled the first day of 

John Brire & Agnes Thewe (?) were marled the 25 July. 
Willm. Bell & Joan Marshall marled the 15 Septemb^ 

1560. Willm. Rayn": & Margret Leech marled the 8 of April. 

1562. Thorns Collin & Barbara ffishpoole maried 4 of Oct I 

1563. Edmund Grene & Agnes Patema maried 19 April. 

1564. Thorns Reeder & Elizabeth Slatter marl the 5 day of June. 
Jeffery Gardiner & Alice May mar4 the 9'^ day of July. 

1565. Edward Ratclife and Helen Shakrose marl 19*!} d. of Augt. 

1567. Willm Wright & Margeret Bateman marl 16!^ d. of June. 

1568, James Londt (?) & Hellen ffaronbirdge mail 16!^ May. 

Michaell Heath gent. & Amye fflowerdewe gent, maried the second 
day of August 




1569. Robt. Scalpie & Katherin .... maried the 225^ day of May. 
George Tetlowe & Alice Gardnl. marl 5 day of Oct!: 

1570. Roger Brearwood Clark & Alice fl&shpoole maried the 25? day of 


157 1. John .... & Barbara Collin mar4 s day of Augt 

1575. Jesper Wilkin & Agnes Wright maried the 2!^ day Augt. 

1576. Robt. Scalpie & Agnes Ewing marL225?of Augt. 

J 57 7- George Tetlowe & Diana Bateman maried 30 June. 

1579. Nicholas Heylott & Helen marl25 Octr. 

1582. Robt Kenion, M«of Arte, & Alice Chune mar4 the 7,^1 day of Julye. 

1585. Thomas Brand & Ema Jains marl 19!^ April. 
Nicholas Lowrie (?) & fFrances Wilkin mar. 3'[i Maye. 

1586. Gilbert Whishart & Agnes Scalpie maitl 25 day Aprill 
Thorns Hopkins & Agnes Alexander marl 28' day February. 

1590. Edward Ffishpoole & Agnes Pointer marl 16 Nov£; 
1592. John Edwarde & Alice Brearwood mar<* the 9*^ of April. 

1596. Will?l Motte & Alice Rain marl the 14* day of November. 

1597. Gregory Bulward & Margeret Russell marl the 25 day of Sept'- 

1598. John Chapman & Marian Coxe (?) marl 13 Augt. 

1599. Phillip Ratcliffe & Elizabeth Tealier were marl the 22BI day of April. 

1600. Nicholas Wonge, of North Creke, and Elizabeth Lacye were maried 

July 27. 

AN. DOM. 1603, JACO. I. 

1603. Peter Samforth & Elizabethe North (?) were maried .... {sic)- 
John Foster & Thomasin Pitte widdo. were marl DecL 28. 

1606. William Brownside (?) & Elizabethe Rackett were marl May ye 4. 
Thomas .... & Mary Ffyshpoole were mar<^ the 11^ June. 

1609. John Baden & Susanna Wortham were marl the 27^ of Nov!: 

Richard Siinons & Elizabeth Chapman were mar<* 23 Jan^* anno Regis 
Jaco. 7. 

1614. William Skey & Joan Mayne were marl the 19^ of Nov!i 

1 61 5. Thomas Crowfoot, of ye pish, of Hockwold & Martha Hopkins were 

maried the 2HI daye of September. 
1 61 8. Le Strange Awcocke of this parish & Cecily Dexter of Pentney were 
marl the five & twentith day of July. 








James Fittz Garrold & Katherine Chunne were mari ye nine & twentith 

daye of June. 
George Southcoate Esquire & Frances Sotherton were .married the 

2o'Jl day of January. 
James Reynolds of Bumstead in ye County of Essex Knight & Jane 

Mordaunt of this parish were married the twelfth daye of June 

anno supradict 
Thomas Palmer & Jane Skarfe were mar** the first day of Oct'- 
Thomas Richardson and Phillis Tillbrooke were married the fifth day 

of No'vL. 
Edmond Nemes (?) and Esther Monymant were maryed the twenty-fifth 

of July. 
William Jhonson & Barbara Bateman were maried the 24*^ of June. 
Wi . . . . Goggs & Cicely Bateman were maried on Whitsun 

Nicholas Hall & Bridget {sic) were mar^ on S. Peters 

Day A^ Dni. 1623. 
John Greene & Ann Wakefield were mar<* the 10^ day of June. 

1634. Robert Oldman of Bawsey & Elizabeth Purdy of Whissingset were mar<* 

Feb. 5*- 

1635. Richard Pattricke of Castle Acre & Ellen EUer (?) were married OctL i. 

1637. John Ropar of Some gent. & Grace Wortham were married July 6. 
Thomas Leighton & Ann Hawley were married Octob. 19. 

1638, Arthur Claxton & Ann Clarke were mar^ July 18. 
1 641. Edmund Bell & Mary Alpe were mar^ June 22. 

1645. William Boden & Margaret Diggons were mar** 21 Augt. 

1646. Henry Potter & Susan Pig were mar<* 13 day of July. 

1647. Robert Burton & Mary Palmer were marl 27 of Sept. 
1653. William Blacklock & Matthew Mayne were mar^ 22 Augt. 

September the seconde 1654. 
Joseph Hacon of little Massingham Gierke was sworne pish. Register {sic) of 
the sd. pish, according to the act for manages, births & burials by me 

Edm. Cremer J. p. 

The Banes of Matrimony between Edward Goo Esquire singleman and Anne 

Mease widdow, both of the parish of Little Massingham were published 

three severall Sundays viz. the 3^, the tenth & the seventeenth dayes 

of Sepl! anno 1654. The said Edward Goo & Anne Mease were 



declared husband & wife before John Pell Esquire Justice of the peace 
&c. September 28, 1654, in the presence of George Gipps, Gregory Pell 
gent. & Townshend Wilson Clerk according to the said late act. 

John Pell. 
Novemb. 9, 1654. William Awcock of this parish singleman & Mary ffitt of 
great Massingham singlewoman after due publication of their consent 
unto marriage three severall Lord's daies that is to say the i the 8 & the 
15 dayes of October in the parishes of Little Massingham and Great 
Mass : aforesaid and no exceptions thereunto made were then declared 
Husband and Wife by John Pell Esq";^ Justice of the peace &c. in the 
presence of Joseph Hacon Minister & Parish Register of Little 
Massingham, John Davye and others, according to the late act 
concerning marriages & the registring thereof &c. John Pell. 

1656. William Playfere & Margaret Dixon were married the second day of 

1659. John Duck and Alice Minns were marrd. the 22 day Dec!:- 
1663. John Eldred of Weotton, widdower and Pleasance Cowper of the same 

singlewoman were married the seaventh daye of July. 
1666. Thomas Wodhouse of Kimberlie Esq":? & M*? Anne Ermine were 

married September 28*, 1666. 
1670. William Ramsey of East Rudham & Mary Copeman of Wesenham 
S. Peters were married 24 of November An. Dom. 1670. 


1674. William Toll of Harpley widdower & Dorothy Nurse of Massingham 
pva. were marryed the 29'^ day of Aprill. 

1682, Stephen Allen of Dersingham & Ann Pell of Massingha p. single- 
woman were marryed the 1 8 day of July. 

1716. John Mitchley & Anne Minns both single and both of this Parish were 
marr/d Octob!: ye 2»1- 

1724. Robert Everard & Elizabeth Foster both single and both of this parish 

were married July ye 24:. 

1725. Simon Bagg of Stoke & Sarah Reward of this Parish were married by 

License Oct*^ 6*^- 
1728. William Whitly & Frances Stuart both single of this parish were marrd. 
after Banns August 18. 













Samuel Stanford singleraan of Fransham m^ & Mary Rogerson widow 

of this parish married by license Aug. 25*^- 
William Nelson Rector of Hillington & Mary Newton of y5 Parish 

both single were married by license Aprl. 3^ 
Revl Jonathan Chapman of Swaflfham & Alice Newton of Little 

Massingham were married September 23. 
Agnes Alexandl ye daughtl of Edward Alexandl baptz. the 15* day of 

John Scalpie & Margerie Scalpie the children of Robt Scalpie baptz. 

the 15^ day of June. 
Thorns Bateman y« son of James Bateman bapt. the 13 of July. 
Willm. Rain the son of Willm. Rain bap. the xxii. day of DecL 
John Brire the sone of John Brire bapt. the 8!^ day of July. 
John Grene ye son of Edward Grene bapt ye i8i^ day of Cct?l 
Joan Clarke ye daughtr. of John Clarke bapt ye xviii. Oct!!: 
Thoros Scalpie the son of Robt. Scalpie bap. ye xi. of Aprill. 
Elizabeth Collin ye daughtl of Tho. Collin bap. ye xxi. of May. 
Margeret Alexandl the daug. of Ed : Alexandl bap. iii. of Octl: 
James Callabut the son of Thorns Callabutt bapt. ye xvi. of Oct!:i 
An supposed to be ye daug. of Thorns Rain begotten of Isabell 

Hamond bap. ye i day of Aprill. 
Robt Anderson ye son of Robt And'son bap. ye xxiii. of Aprill. 
Simon Collin the son of Thorns Collin bap. the xvi. day of August 
Phillip Wilkinson ye son of James Wilk. bapt 8^ of March. 
John & Robt Collin ye sons of Thorns Collins bapt ye 1 1 of June. 
Phillip Ratcliife ye sone of Ed. Ratcliff bapt. ye 26 March. 
An Hollis ye daughtr. of Willm. Hollis Esq. bapt ye 2 of Januarye. 
Brien Alexander ye sone of Edward Alexand', bap. ye xii. of January. 
Henry Ratclife ye sone of Edward Ratclife bapd. vii. of March. 
Brien Tailor ye son of Henry TailLbapt ye 21 day of March. 
Ed. Collin the sone of Thoins Collin bapt the 12^ of September. 
Eliza : Hollis ye daught'. of W?! Hollis Esq~ bap. 16'^ of Januarye. 
Edward Ratclife ye sone of Ed : R. bapt ye 20 March. 
An Daives ye daughtLof Tho : Daives bapt the 225^ of March. 
John Lowel ye son of James Lowel bapt. the 30* of Aprill. 




1570. Ann Collins ye daughtl of Tho : Collins bapt ye 28?^ of January. 

157 1. Nathaniell Wakelin ye son of Robt. Wakelin bapt. ye 6^ of Julye. 

1572. Georg Mordunt ye sone of Henry Morduht gent. bap. 29'^ of July. 

1573. Mathew Marshall ye sone of John Marshall bapt 22^A of Sept. 

1574. Barbara Mordulit ye daughtl of Hen : Mor : gent, bapt 12!!} of Sept. 

1575. Hellen Wilshin ye daught?: of John Wilshin bapt. ye 24^* of June. 

1576. Georg Mautbire sone of Christopher Mautbire bapt. the 24?!? of 


1577. Alice Awcock daughter of Peter Awcock bapt the 13*^ of October. 

1578. Barbara Tetlow daughtLof George Tetlow bapt 27'J? of March. 
John Wilshin sune of John Wilshin bapt. 4^ of August 

1579. Le Strange Awcock sune of Peter Awcock bapt 12^ of September, 
ffruncis supposed to be ye sune of Ric. Whitings or of Ric. ffruncis borne 

of Alice .... baptz. 7 of March. 
1 58 1. Margaret Wasse daughter of John Wasse bapt the 16* day of May. 
Le Strange Myn sone of John Myn bapt the 1 1 day of June. 
Edward the sune of An Shakrose basebom bapt. xxiiii. of June. 
Edward ffishpool sune of Robt. ff : bapt ye 1 2 of March. 

1583. Marye ffishpoole daughtL of Robt flf: bapt. ye second day ffeb. 
Charls the sone of Peter Awcock bapt. the second day of June. 

1584. Giles Mins sune of John Mins bapt the iii. of May. 
Phillip Paghot son of Thorns. P. bap. iii. of Jany. 

1585. Jane Lowrie daughtr. of Nicholas L. bapt. the 28 of July. 
Giles the sune of Christopher Harris bapt 1 2 day of September. 

1586. An Curlin daught' of Hillary Cur : bapt. xv. day of Maye. 
Clemence daught' of Robt ffishpoole bapt xxviii. of Aug. 
Margret Awcock daug of Peter Awe : bap. iiii. day of Septr. 
Nicholas Bateman son of Robt. Ba : bapt. the ix. OctL- 

1587. Joseph ye sune of Tho'^s Hopkins bapt. xvii. day of Aprill. 
Thorns Curlin sune of Hillary Cur : bap. xxiv. March. 
Alice Hopkins daugh. of Thorns Hop: bapt xxiv. May. 

<588. An Awcock daughtL of Peter Aw : bapt x. Nov!: 

Phillis ffishpoole daught' of Robt. ff : bapt. xvii. ffeb. 

1589. Temprance Curlin daug. of Hillary Cur : bapt. vi. day of June. 
John ffissher son of Margret ffisher basebom bapt xiii. of Julye. 
Will?? Creak son of Tho : Creke bapt. iiii. Janx- 

1590. Agnes Browne daughtr. of Will™ Br: bapt. xxv. day of March. 




1590. Lawrence Barber son of Tho : Bar : bapt. xii. Julye. 

1591. Isabell Hopkins daug. of Tho : Hop : bapt. the iv. Aprill. 
Ellen flfishpoole daug. of Ed : ff : bapt. 28 NovL 

Katherine Chune daug. of Ric: Ch: bap. the xiii. daye of 

1592. Mary Graye & Katherine Graye ye children of Tho: Gray bapt. 25 

Rose ffishpool daug. of Edward ffishpool bap. 18 May. 

1593. Margery Hawlye daughtr. of Thorns Hawlye Ml of Arte bapt. 

16 May. 
Thorns Chune ye sune of Ric. Chune bapt. 20 Maye. 

1594. John Pooly sune of John Poolie bapt. 25 DecembL- 
Martha Hopkins daug, of Tho. : Hop : bapt. vi. ffebruary. 

1595. James ffishpoole sune of Ed. ffishpoole bap. xi. May. 
Rose Large daug. of Henry Large bap. v. Decern^- 

1596. Jane Chune daughter of Ric. Chune bap. xii. Maye. 

Thorns Hawlye sune of Thorns Hawlie Ml of Arte bapt. iS^i? of 

Margerie ffishpoole daughtr. of Ed. ffishpoole bapt. ix. January. 

1597. Abigail Large daughtr. of Henry Large bap. 28 Octr. 
Thonls ffishpoole sune of Robt. ffishpoole bapt 17 Ffebruary. 

1598. ThocSs the sune of Thorns Hopkins bapt xiv. May. 
John Clay sune of George Clay bapt xiv. Septr. 
Martha Bulware daughtr. of Gregory Bulware bapt. 


1599. Thorns Pitte the sune of George Pitte was bapt the 

Margery Johnson the daughtr. of John Johnson was bapt the xxi. day 

of January. 
Henry Johnson the siihe of Adam Johnson was bapt the i8y? day of 

George ffishpoole the sune of Edward ffishpoole was bapt. the 8* d^y 

Richard Large the sune of Henry Large was bapt. 6 May. 
John ffishpoole the sune of Robt ffishpoole was bapt 1 7^ June. 
Edward Ratcliffe the sune of Phillip Ratcliffe was bapt July the 1 5* day. 
Dinas Chapman daughtr. of John Chapman was bapt ix. Sept"^- 



day of 
day of 






1600. Alice fBshpoole the daughtr. of Edward flfishpoole was bapt, the xx. day 
of Jany- 

William Dawes supposed to be the sune of Willm. Cole servant to 
Ml Morduht gent bapt. the 29!!? day of March- 

1 60 1. Stephen Chapman the sime of John Chapman was bapt. the i5! ffeb. 
Jane Ward daught*^ of Robt Ward bap. 31 May. 
Henry Large sune of Henry Large bapt. 6 Sept!: 

1602. Jane ffishpoole daughf of Edward fF: bapt Jany- 24. 
Rose Pitte daught' of George Pitte bapt. 24 ffeby- 
Thoms. & Jane Curson twin children of Henry Curson were borne 

& baptized the 28*^ day of March. 
John Johnson sune of Adam Johnson bapt May 10. 
Robt. ffishpoole sune of Robt ff: bapt xxii. July. 
Robt Hopkins sone of Thorns Hopkins bap. April 24. 
Sara Ratcliffe daugtr. of Phillip Ratcliffe was bapt. the i?L of August 
Thoms. Ward sone of Robt. Ward bapt. 5 Sept'- 

1603. Margarethe ffishpoole the daughtr. of Edwd ffishpoole & Anne his 
wyffe was bapt*. the xxiii. of Dec 1603. 

1604. Katheryne Johnson daughtr. of Adam Johnson bapt ye xxvii. Decern b. 
Josephe Wardde sonne of Robart Warde .... was bapt iv. 

day of flfeb. 

1607. Jane Foster ye daughtr. of John Foster was bapt ye xx»k day of 
October, (sic.) 

1606. Dorathey ffyshpoole daughtr. of Edwde. ffyshpoole was bapt. ye 17^ of 
August, (sic.) 

1608. Susan Johnson the daug. of Adam Johnson was bapt ye 24^ of 
! May 1608. 

An ffishpoole the daug. of Edward ffishpoole bapt. 1 2 March. 
i 1609. James Pilkington the sonne of James Pilkington & Ann his wyfe was 
' baptized ye xxviii. day of January. 

j 16 10. ^gse Seman the daug. of Richard Seman & Elizabethe his wyfe was 
1 ^ . . bapt the xiii. day Septr. 

Elizabethe Johnson the daughter of Adam Johnson & Katherine his 
wyfe was bapt ye 10 March. 

161 1. "William (foster the sonne of John ffoster bapt. 27 Octr. 

1612. John Seman ye sone of Richard Seman & Elizabethe his wyfe bapt. 
27 Decli 




1 612. Martyn ffoster the sonne of John ffoster was bapt. 7 Octr. 

Richard Rayn' ye sonne of Thorns Rayn' & Bridget his wyffe was bapt. 

ye 23 Jany- 
Thomas Sutton ye sonne of William Sutton & Ellyne his wyffe was 

bapt. 29^ ffeb. 

1 613. James Wyesman ye sonne of Thomas Wyesman & Mary his wyffe 

bapt. ye ix. day of January. 
David Rayn!: ye sone of Thomas RaynL& Bridget his wyfe was bapt. 

13 day of ffeb. 
Martin ffoster ye sonne of John ffoster was bapt 5 October. 

1 615. Charles Mordaunt the sonne of Robert Mordaunt Esquire and Amy 

his wyffe was baptized the xxxi^ of Jully anno 161 5. 
Ffrannces Skey the daughtr. of Willin Skey & Jane his wiffe was 
baptizd. the 17?^ of December. 

1 616. Katherin Crowfoot the daughtr. of Thomas Crowfoot & Martha his 

wife was baptzd the 22H? Septr. 

161 7. Edmund Rayner ye sonne of Thomas Rayner was baptzd. the i?i day 

of June. 
John the sonne of John Wasse was baptzd. the i?* day of Jany- " 
Robert Mordaunt the sonne of Robert Mordaunt Esquire & Amy his 

wife was baptized the 15$ day of January anno dni. 161 7. 

1 618. ffrances the daughter of Edward Thorowgood Clerke was baptzed. the 

3!^ day of Aprill. 
Martin the son of Thomas Rayner was baptized the 5^ day of July. 
Jane Skey the daughter of William Skey was baptzd. the io'J» October. 

1620. Fraunces the daughter of Sl Robert Mordaunt & Ladye Amy his wife 

was baptised the tenth day of October anno dni. supradict. 

Thomas filius Georgii Southcot Armigeri & ffranciscse 

baptizatur fuit duodecimo die decembris. 

1 62 1. William the sonne of Strange Awcocke was baptzd. the twenty nine gf Jiine. 
Adam the sonne of Adam Jhonson was bapt. the eyght day of July anno 

suprascripto. • . . 

Mary the daug. of Nicholas Baleman was bapt. 9 Augt. 
Sara the daughtr. of Nicholas Bateman was baptised the day and yeere 

above written. 
Anne the daughter of SL Robert Mordaunt and Lady Amy his wife was 

baptized the sixt of January A? suPdict. (sic) 





1622. Robertus Bateman filius Nicholai baptizat full . . . die Octobris. 
Robertus filius Gulielmi Moore baptizat fuit nono die Martii An<» 


1623. Elizabetha filia Jacobi Fishpoole baptizata fuit Setimo die Maii. 

Amy the daughter of Si Robert Mordaunt & the Lady Amy his wife 
was baptized the 25 of July 1623. 

1624. Willi . . . ffiL Willm. Hardy baptizat fuit V* die Augusti. 
Robertus filius Jacobi Fishpoole baptizat fuit decimo die Martii. 
Robertus filius Robt ffeake baptizat fiiit sexto die ffebruarii. 

1625. Le Strange filius Thomae Toll & Annae uxor baptiz. fuit tricessimo die 

Junii anno 1625. 
Abigail filia Adami Johnson et Margarett uxor ejus baptizat fuit 

vicessimo die Augusti anno 1624. (sic) 
Elizabetha filia Willi™ Hardy et Margeriae uxor ejus baptizat fuit 

quarto die Decembris anno 1625, 

1626. Sara filia illegittima Elizabethae Kidd baptizat fuit vicessimo tertio die 

Phillis filia GulieL Harman et Cihlia uxor ejus baptizat undecimo die 

Junii anno 1626. 
Thomas filius Thomae Ringwood et Katherinae uxor ejus baptiz: 

duodecimo die mensis Novemb. 

1627. Edward the sonne of James Ffishpoole was baptzd. the 9^ Septr. 
Katherine the daughtr. of W^ Johnson was bapt. Deer 2. 

1628. Anthonie ye son of Tho: Ringwood & Katherine his wife was bapt. 

Julie the first. 
Thomas the son of Robert ffeake was bapt Sep. 21. 
Robert the son of John Fishpoole & Alice his wife was bapt. Sep. 25. 
John the son of WillE Ffoster & Dorothe his wife was bapt. Decl 28. 

1629. Henrie the son of W™ Harman & Cicilie his wife was bapt. April 19. 
Katherin ye daughter of Tho: Ringwood & Katherin his wife was 

baptzd. Julie 9. 
James the sonne of Andrew Rayner & Agnes his wife was baptized 

Sep. 20. 
Thomas the son of Willim ffellow & Jeane his wife was baptized 

Sep. 27. 
John the son of Willim. Johnson & Marie his wife was baptized 

Sep. 29. 


* • 



1 63 1. 






Mary the daughter of James ffishpoole & Sara his wife was baptized 

Aprill 4. 
John the son of John ffishpoole & AUice his wife was baptized the 

27 day of December 1630. 
Robert the son of W? Harman & Cicilie his wife was baptized the 

13 of february. 
Robert the son of Robert Cremer & Temperance his wife was bapt. 

Decl 20. 
Thomas the son of Andrew Rayner & Ann his wife was bapt. 

April 3. 
Edmund the son of Robert Cremer & Temperance his wife was bapt. 

January 13. 
Sara the daughtr. of James ffishpoole & Sara his wife baptzd. 

March 14. 
William the son of William ffellow & Jane his wife was bapt. April 7. 
Thomas the son of Nicholas Bateman & Jane his wife was bapt. 

February 19. 
Bridget the daughter of Robert Cremer gentleman & Temperance his 

wife was baptizd. May 27. 
William the son of We? Harman & Cicely his wife bapt. July 13. 
Elizabeth the daug. of Andrew Rayner & Ann his wife bapt. Jany 25. 
Thomas the son of Robert Cremer gentleman & Temperance his wife 

bapt. May 24. 
Edward the son of William ffellow & Jane his wife was baptized 

Septemb. 13. 
Alice the daug. of Robt. Cremer gent : & Temperance his wife bapt. 

Deer 27. 
Thomas the son of James ffishpoole & Sara his wife was baptized 

January 22 anno supradicto. 
William the son of WillE? Mynnes & Alice his wife bapt April 2. 
James the son of William ffellow & Jane his wife bapt. July 16. 
William the son of Andrew Rayner & Ann his wife bapt. 10 Dec:: 
ffrances the daughtr. of Robt. Cremer gent. & Temperance his wife 

bapt. January 18. 
Arthur the son of Will"- Plafer & Dorothie his wife was baptized April 

IS, 1638. 
Richard the son of Willm. flfellow & Jeane his wife bapt. May 12. 




1639. Henry the son of Robert Cremer & Temperance his wife was baptized 

Dec'. 4. 

1640. Robt. the Sonne of Andrew Rayner & Ann his wife bapt. Nov. i. 
Thomas the son of Nicholas Bateman bapt. i!* of Jan^- 

1 641. Willim the sonne of Robt Cremer & Temperance his wife bapt. 

March 28. 

1642. John the sonne of Robt. Cremer & Temperance his wife bapt. July 12. 
Alice the daughter of William Mynns & Alice his wife bapt. JanY 15. 

1643. Katherine the daughter of Michael Harison & Margarett his wife 

bapt. July 6. 
John the sonne of Robert Cremer & Temperance his wife bapt. ye 22 

day of September. 
William & Elizabeth ye sonne & daughtr. of William ffellow & Jane 

his wife were baptized ye (blank) day of Septn 
Anne ye daughter of Andrew Rayner A Anne his wife was baptized 

ye 15 day of October. 

1644. Ellen ye daught. of Willm. M)mnes & Alice his wife was baptized the 12 

day of Aprill. 
John the sonne of Sir Charles Mordaunt & ladye Katherin his wife 

was baptized the 25 day of Aprill. 
Katherine the daughter of Robert XDremer & Temperance his wife was 

baptized the 24 day of November. 
Henry ye sonne of Sir Charles Mordaunt & Ladye Katharine his wife 

was baptized the 21 day of March. 

1645. Robert the sonne of William Plafer & Dorothye his wife bapt. the 14 

day of Aprill. 
Mary ye daughter of Wilti ffellow & Jane his wife bapt. 8 June. 
Charles the sonne of Robert Cremer & Temperance his wife was bapt. 

the fifth day of March. 

1646. Elizabeth the daughter of John Seaman & Susan his wife bapt. 26 July. 
Elizabeth the daug. of Michael Harrison & Margaret his wife bapt. 

27 Septr. 
John the son of Robert Read & Mary his wife bapt. 4^ October. 

1647. Alice the daughter of Will"» ffellow & Jane his wife bapt. sixth day of 

Richard the sonne of William Mynnes & Alice his wife bapt. the 
29 December. 









William the son of William Plafer and Dorithy his wife bapt 9 Aprill. 
Thomas the sonne of Richard Reaper & Anne his wife baptized 

30 July. 
Rose the daughter of John Seman & Susan his wife bapt. 27 August 
Robert the son of William flfellow & Jane his wife bapt. 2^ Sept'- 
Francis the daughter of Edward Harwood & Francis his wife bapt. 

3^ July. 
Richard the son of Richard Reaper & An his wife bapt. 20 October. 
Michael the son of William Mynnes & Alice his wife bapt. 9 Feb. 
Mary the daug. of Thomas Rainer & Anne his wife bapt. 16 feb. 
Frances the daug. of Edward Harwood & Frances his wife bapt. 20 July. 
Margaret the daughtr. of Michael Harrison & Margaret his wife bapt 

8 January. 
Mary the daug. of John Seman & Susan his wife bapt. 20 June. 
Hugh the son of Hugh Hovell gent & Elizabeth his wife was bapt. 

the 16 of December. 
Robert the son of Thomas Rainer & Anne his wife was bapt the 17 

Sara the daug. of Robert Innall & Sara his wife was borne the 6 day 

of December and baptized the 1 1 day of December. 
Elizabeth the daughter of Hugh Hovell gent & Elizabeth his wife 

was borfte & baptized the 15 day of February. 
Alice Bullock the daughter of Richard Bullock & Jane his wife was 

borne the 15 day of Sep. & baptized the 17 day of the same 

Coelia the daughter of Charles Perkins Esquire & Dionys his wife 

was baptized the 3 of October. 
Mary the daughter of Michael Harrison & Margaret his wife was bom 

Oct 26 & bapt Oct 28. 
Charles the son of Charles Parkins Esquire & Dionys his wife was 

baptized the 17 day of December. 
Anne the daughter of Robert Bircham & Elizabeth his wife bapt. 

21 Decerab. 
Katharin the daughter of WillnL Plafer & Margaret his wife was bapt. 

the 28 day of April 
Richard the son of Thomas Smith & Alice his wife was bapt 

day of June* 










John the son of Charles Parkins Esquire & Dionys his wife was 

baptized the sixt. day of November- 
Robert the son of William Harman & Alice bis wife bapt. 18 May. 
William the sonne of William Harman & Alice his wife bapt 5 day July. 
Elizabeth the daug. of Richard Glover & Anne his wife bapt 23 Augt. 
Silas Pitkerine the son of William & Mary his wife bapt. Septr. 7!^ 
Elizabeth the daug. of William Plafer & Margaret his wife bapt. 

Jany. 15. 
Thomas the son of Edward Hart & Elizabeth his wife was baptized 

7 July. 
Elizabeth ye daug. of William Harman & Mary his wife bapt 10 Nov'- 
Elizabeth ye daug. of Edward Hart & Elizabeth his wife bapt 30 August. 
Thomas ye son of Peter Gray & Dorothy his wife baptz. 17 Octr. 
Allen ye son of James Manfyeld & Katherine his wife bapt. ye 

7 November. 
Mary the daug. of William Harman & Mary his wife bapt. 26 DecL 
Margarett the daughter of Edward Hart & Elizabeth his wife bapt 

7 August 


1675^ Charles the son of Charles Preston Clerk and Mary his wife was 

6. bapt. at the Sacred Font, the 27*J^ of Jany-. 167I 

1676^ Mary the daug. of Charles Preston Clerk & Mary his wife was baptized 

7. at ye Font ye 5th. of March, 167^ 

1678. Jacob the sonn of Charles Preston by Mary his wife was baptized at 

the Font the isth of April, 1678. 
1679 Jacob ye son of Charles Preston Clerk by Mary his wife was baptzd. 

ye 24^ of Febry., 1679, at ye Font 
t692_ John the son of Edward Green by Bridget his wife bapt. 28 March. 

1694. Joanna the daug. of Edward Greene by Bridget his wife bapt. 7 Dec'- 
1697. Dennis Pepper ye son of Tho: Stewarde & Mary his wife was 

baptized (blank). 

1702. Tho: Steward the sun of Thos : Steward & Mary his wife was 

baptized the 19 August 
1705. Ann the dagter. of Thom. Steward & Mary his wife was baptized Jany- 10. 




1 7 15. Thomas ye son of Edward Ratcliffe by Sarah his wife was baptized 
March 27. 
Mr. Samuel Healy M.A. was buryed May 18, 1715. (sic) 
1722. Anne ye daughter of Mr. Thomas Steward & Mary his wife was 

baptized October. 8. 
1724. John ye son of Mr. Thomas Steward & Mary his wife was bapt. 

September 15. 
17^5* Jol^J^ the son of Robt Everard by Eliz^ his wife was bapt. April 9. 
1726. Mary daughter of Mr. Thomas Steward & Mary his wife bapc June 2. 
Elizabeth daug. of Robert Everard by Mary his wife bapt. Dec'- 2. 
Mary daug. of Simon Bagg by Sarah his wife bapt Feb. 16. 
1 728. Ann daughter of Mr. Thomas Steward by Mary his wife bapt April 22. 

1730. Frances daughter of Mr. Thomas Steward by Mary his wife bapt. 

April 5., 

1731. Thomas son of Thomas Steward by Mary his wife was bapt. March 5. 

1734. Grace daughter of Tho. Steward & Mary his wife was bapt May 11. 

1735. Grace daughter of Thomas Steward & Mary his wife bapt Sept 10. 
1737. Charles son of Thomas Steward & Mary his wife bapt June 12!^ 

1 739. Hannah daug. of Thos. Steward by Mary his wife bapt Nov. 4±- 
1773. Thomas son of Thomas Feaconbridge by Anne his wife bapt Dec. 26. 

1775. John son of Thomas Feaconbridge by Anne his wife bapt May 14. 

1776. Charles son of the Reverend Charles Mordaunt by Charlotte his wife 

was born March 26, baptized April 17. 
1 8 10. George son of William Wodehouse Clerk (Curate in Charge of L. 
Massghm.) by Mary his wife (late Mary Hussey) was bom July 8^- 
baptized July 12, 18 10. 



1558, Ann Bell daught'- of Ric. Bell was buried the xxi. of November. 
Thorns, flfishpoole was biuried xxxi. of May. 
B. Si Jams. Bastard psn. of Little Mass. was buried the xx!L day of 

A. Alice Bateman daughtr. of James Bateman was burie^l the xvi. 




1558. John Bell sun of Ric. Bell bu : v. Novembr. 

John the sun of Willm. Justins of Walby bu : 25 Augt 

1559. Katherine the wiffe of Phillip Mordunt Esq. buried ye xxv!t day of 

Lucy Bell, daughtr. of Ric Bell, bu: 16 March. 

1560. Thorns. Batemen sun of James Ba: was bur: the xxiiii* of 


1 56 1. Emma the wiffe of Willm. RainL was bur : the viii. day of March. * 
John Brire sun of Jo : Brire bur : xiiii. Sept'- 

1562. Athelie Grene wife of Edmond Grene was bur : the v*^ of Nov. 

1563. Elizabeth Collin daughtr. of Tho : Collin bur : the xv. June. 

1564. Simon tke sun of Tho : Collin was bur: 17 Augt. 

1565. John & Robt the suns of Tho : Collin bur: 16 June. 

1566. Jeffary Gardner was bur: xxii. August. 

1567. Ladye An HoUis wiffe of Phillip Mordunt Esq. buri xxviii^day of 

Agnes wife of Robt. Stralpy bu : xii. Decern. 
Henry sun of Ed : Ratcliffe bur : xvi. March. 

1569. Edward Ratclife sun of Ed. Rat : was bur : 28 April. 

1570. Thomas Collin was bur : 6^ March. 

157 1. Nathaniell Wakelin son of Robt. Wa : bur : 7 July. 
Joan Slater widow bur ; 28!^ July. 

1573. Alice Tetlow was bur : v. May. 

Margret Albone & Mathew Marshall her sun bur : xxvi. Sept!L 

1574. Katherin the wife of Robt. Scalpie was bur : 9 DecL- 

1576. Brian Goodalas bur: 13 Novembr 

1577. Agnes Man wid. bur : 3 Dec!.- 
Edward CarfL- bur : 14 March. 

1578. Thoms. Rainer was bur : 24 April. 

Briget ffrost drowned in the comon well bur : the 6 Novl 

Phillis maidservant to Gils Capps gent, bur : 26 Novemb''- 
1 581. Barbara Mordant gent, widowe was buried the xxvii*^ day of Aprill. 

Robt. Scalpie was bur : xxiii. of Novembli 

Steven Dallis was bur : x. JanZ: 
1583. Edward the son of Robt. ffishpoole was bur : the last day of Decemb!:: 

Margret the wiffe of Giles Capps gent, bur ; the xxiii. of ffebruary. 

Edward Mordunt, gent, bur : ix. of March. 




1584. Margaret Harris daught'_ of xx for (Xtopher?) Harris was bur: 23 

Margaret Alexander bur : 27 May. 
Giles Capp gent, bu : xii^Jl- of August. 

Pooly daughtl of Pooly bur : 27 October. 

Edward Alexander bur : 29 Nov'^ 

1585. James ffishpoole was bur : v. June. 

1 586. Thorns. Nicols was bur : 14 Sep. 

Joan the wiffe of Simone Pooly was b\u: r 19 Sep. 
Margerie wiffe of John Minns, bur: 22 ffeb. 
Margaret the daught? of Peter Awcock bur : ffeb. 21. 

1587. Barbara the wiffe of John Wilchin bur: 18 ffeb. 

1588. Alice Robinson of Hichm a poor woman bur : 26 May. 
Phillis the daug. of Robt ffishpoole bur : 3 April. 

1590. Agnes the daug. of Willm Browne bur : i^ April. 
John Hold^_say, a poor man, bur : 18 August. 
Laurence Barber son of Tho : Bar. bur : 20 Aug. 
Chrisan ffishpoole, wid : was bur : xx. November. 

1591. John Poolye son of John Pooly bur : 25 Aprill. 

Roger Brearwood Clark & Psh. (Parson ?) of this towne was bur : the 
XV. day of August. 

1592. An Bateman wife of James Ba: was biu: : 7 Jauv- 

1593. James Bateman was bur : 7 May. 
Aim ffoul maid was bur : xv. January. 

Katherine the daug. of Thorns Gray bur : xv. March. 

1596. Alice Palmer a poor woman bur : 14 May. 

Jane Chune daughtr. of Rich. Chune bur : 13 Augt. 
Isabell ffishpoole, wife of Robt. ff : bur : 19 January. 

1597. Robt Lowe laborer for Mr. Gary Esq!? was bur : 9 Aprill. 
James Rainer bur : 14 May. 

John Reeder bur : xii Nov!!: 

Thorns ffishpoole the son of Robt. ffish : bur : 27 ffebruary. 

1599. George the sonne of Edward ffishpoole was bur : xii. day of March 
Dinas the daug. of John Chapman bur : 18 DecembL 

Agnes Wiskar widowe bur : 24 DecL 

1600. An Large the daug. of Henry Large bur : i!* Septr. 

Will? Dawes supposed to be the son of Wf» Cowe was buried 13 May. 



1600. Peter Awcocke buried i? Nov^; 

1 60 1. Jane Ward daug of Robt Ward bur : 11 Julie. 
John Clarke was bur : 21^ August. 
Widowe Alexander was buried 27 fFebruary. 

1602. Jane Curson daug. of Henry Curson bur: 8 Aprill. 

Robt. Mordunt Esquier dyed & was buried the xxix»!l day of Maye 

anno supTdict. 
Mr. Thomas Hawley psoh of this towne was buried the 30? day 

of October. 

1603. George Pitte bur : 26 Sept'^ 

1604. John Ashley bur : ye (blank). 
Sjrmonde Poolye bur : 25 Aug. 
TTiomas fowley bur : 18 Oct'- 
Mathewe Neithe bur : 16 Sept'- 

1605. Janne Smythe wyeffe of George Smythe bur : 26 Decemb^- 
Ellyn Lovell (?) bur : 4 January. 

Rayner widd. bur : 16 Jany. 

1606. Charles Awcocke bur : 4 Decemb. 
Isabell ffowUe was bur : 26 Jan'y- 

Mrs. Margaret Mordant wyeffe to M'. Lestrange Mordant was buriede 
the XVII. day of March 1606. 

1607. Phillippe Ratleffe was bur : the xxii. NoV- 
Theophrastus Woodde was bur : ffeb. (sic.) 

1608. Jylian Giels wiffe of Thomas Giells bur: 17 March. 
Henry "Dixon bur : xxii. March. 

Thomas Hopkyn bur : 24 NovembL- 
Thomas Giels a young man bur : 14 Augt. 
William Giels a young man bur : 30 Sep. 

16 10. Goodman bur : 8 day Octl- 

1611. ffendich ? bur : 9 NovlL 

Robt. Branson bur : 23 Decern. 
Strange M)ms was bur : 30 Jan^- 

John West servant to Mr. Pilkington was bur : 16 June. 

161 2. Rychard Rayner bur : 17 ffeb. 
Hellyn Sutton was bur : 7 March. 
Dyena Chapman bur : 6 Aprill. 

1 61 3. Steven Chapman bur : 15 Aprill 











Joan ffyshpoole bur : 26 Augt. 

ffrances Pilkington bur : 12 March. 

Robert Goosleton ? was bur : ye (blank). 

James Wyesman bur : 16 January 16 13. 

Alice Wyesman wid. bur: 11 March 16 13. 

Mary Alexander bur : 5 April 16 13. 

Andrew Pilkington Gierke was bur : the xxix. Augt. 

Isabell Hopkins was bur : 8 day Dec!: 

William Dalton bur : 2 Jany. 

Edmund Rayner the sonne of Thomas Rayner bur: xv. day of 

Robert Mordaunt the sonne of Robt. Mordaunt Esquire was buried the 

25 ffebruary anno supradict. 
Martin Rayner the sonne of Thomas Rayner bur : 5 July. 
Bridgett the wiffe of Thos. Rayner bur : 6 July. 
Thomasine wife of John fibster bur : 15 July. 
Katherine wife of Adam Johnson bur : 29 Septr. 
Janie wife of Ws Skey bur : 10 Octt- 
Rose ffishpoole daug. of Ed. ffishpoole bur: 9 Decemb^i 
Edward fishpoole bur : 26 Jan^- 

Elizabeth Ffraunces daug. of Richard Ffraunces bur : 11* May. , 
Edward Thorowgood Rector of this p. ish. church was bur: 7!^ 

(blank) Oldman the daug. of Robt. Oldman a poor parishioner 

buried in (blank) ffeb. 
Grace fibster bur : i!! May. 
Sarah daug. of Nicholas Bateman bur : 10 Augt. 
Strange Awcocke bur : fifth March. 
Charles Awcocke son of Strange Awe : bur : 17 Aprill. 
Mr. Robert Gardiner was bur : the 24 March. 
Mr. Richard Chun was buryed 6 March. 
William Abey bur : sixt March. 
Adam Jhonson bur: 22 Aprill. 
William Bendish bur : 22 March. 
Barbara Johnson bur : 2 May. 
Clement fiishpoole bur : 19 Decern. 
Mr. Thomas Toll bur : 26 January, 











Ann fishpoole widdow bur : last day of May. 

Rose Clarke widdow bur : 28 Septr. 

Si Le Strange Mordant Knight &c. j?as buried the three-&-twentyeth 

day of Aprill. 
Henrie Johnson a younge man was bur : the twentieth day of June. 
Thomas the sonne of Thomas Ringwood bur ; the 29 Decemb. 
Marie wiffe of Thos. Wiseman bur ; 25 March. 
Anthonie son of Thos. Ringwood bur : Augt. (sic) 
Thomas the sonne of Robt. Feake bur : 12 Oct 
Robert Fishpoole bur ; March 24. 

Robert Itteringham servant to Wj^ Ro. Cremer bur : 16 April. 
An Hopkins widdow bur : Aprill 20. 
Tho : More servant to M'- Ro. Cremer bur : May 19. 
Thomas Wiseman bur : June 2. 
firancis daug. of Tho. Crowfoote bur : Jan. 9. 
Thomas Chunne gentleman buried Janv- 28. 
M??: Ann Toll widdow bur : Aug. 29. 
Jone the wiffe of Thomas BlOome bur : March 29. 
Richard Seaman bur : Aprill 28. 
James ffitz Garrold gentleman bur : May 2 1 . 
Jfohn the son of William M3mnes & Allice his wife bur : June 12. 
Thomas Rayner bur : June 22. 

James the son of Will"? ffellow & Jane his wife bur : feb. 27. 
ffi-ances Thorowgood bur : Dec 28. 
Thomas the son of Nicholas Bateman bur : Aprill 6. 
Katherin Richman bur : Sep. 10. 
Wills Cremer was bur ; Dec. 14. 
Amy Skot bur : Dec 23. 
Will"* the sonne of Will!? ffellow bur : ffeb. 8. 
Bridget Cremer bur : ffeb. 23. 
John Cremer bur : April 23. 
Elizabeth Seaman widow bur : ye (blank) Sept'- 
ToUemach Mordant the son of Sir Charles Mordant was bur: the 27 

day of June 1644. 
Martin Trollop an old man was buried 12 Septr. 
M™ Amy Mordaunt was buried the 6 day of October, 











Henry the sonne of Sir Charles Mordaunt was buried the 24 day of 

March 1644. 
Katharine the wife of John Seaman bur : 15 Aprill. 
William Dickson bur : 23 March. 
Susan Johnson bur : 2 May. 

Mary the daughter of William ffellow bur : 17 March. . 

Sir Charles Mordaunt Knight & Baronet was huryed the 15 day 

of July. , 

Mary Person bur: 26 DeC* 
Thomas Mason bur : 15 ffeb. 
John Foster an old man bur : 13 March. 
Alice the daug. of Willm. Fellow bur : 23 March. 
Katherine the daug. of Robert Cremer gent, bur : 1 1 Janv- 
William Peim gent, was buryed 19 March. 
Francis daug. of Edward Harwood bur : 4 July. 
James fishpole was bur: 16 Sep. 
Richard son of Richard Reaper bur : 25 Dedl 
Amy the daughter of Sr. Charles Mordaunt (deceased) & lady 

Katherine his wife was bur : the 22 day of January. 
John Branch bur : 15 feb. 
Allen Homes bur : 5 Aug. 

Hugh the son of Hugh Hovell gent, bur : 21 Jan^- 
John Harwood bur : 21 feb. 
Mary Beament bur : 5 Julye. 
Elizabeth the daughtr. of Hugh Hovell gent, was bur : 26 day of 

Cicily wife of William Harman bur : 10 ffeb. 
John Seaman bur : 21 Aprill. 
William Awcock bur : 18 Jany- 
Dorothie wife of W5 Plafer bur : 7 Septr. 
Thomas Crowfoot bur : 23 Octll 
Rose Peim widow bur : ffeb. 7. 
Philip Harman daughtr. of WE Harman bur : 23 feb. 
Martha Crowfoot widow bur : 12 Nov'^ 
Michael Harrison bur : 29 Dect? 
Thomas Taylour bur : 19 Jan?: 
Gregory Corbet bur : 12 feb. 




A.D. ~ 

1660. Roger Hayward bur : 2 March. 

166 1. Will™ Harman bur : 4 Augt 
Henry Baldwin bur : 17 Augt. 

Dionys Ae wife of Charles Parkins Esquire bur : 23 November. 

1662. Elizabeth the daugh. of Hugh Hovell gent bur : 14 June. 

^ Joseph Hacon Rector of this parish was buried the i8i^ daye of 
166^ Edward the sonne of W? Fellowe & Jane his wife bur : 29 January. 

1664. Sir Charles Mordant Kn? & Baronet dyed April ye 24*^ A. Dom. 

Edward Salter Rector of this Parish was buryed the 26 of May. 
John Smart M! Bunyes man bur : NovL- 26. 
Alice Lane bur : Dec. 3. 

1665. Alice the wife of William Harman bur : March 30. 

Arthur son of W? Plaford & Dorothie his wife bur : Aug. 23. 

Richard Bene bur : Sep. 15. 

James Bowes bur : Sep. 29. 
1667. Thomas the son of Ed. Hart & Elizabeth his wife bur : 13 Nov'- 

Martha the wife of John Miles bur : feb. 1 1. 
1670. Mary daug. of W"? Harman & Mary his wife bur: March 4. 


1673. Mr. Lockwood minister of this parish of Little Massingham was biuied 

the i*A September 1673. 

1675 E Salter widdow & relict of Edward Salter was buried the 

6. 24* of March. 

1678. Jacob the son of Charles Preston by Mary his wife bur : 15 Augt 
1686. Thomas Steward of Gt. Massingham deceased was buried here March li' 

1686 according to ye Act of Pari, entitled an act for burying in 

1687 Michael ye son of Thomas Steward of Gt. Mass. bur: in this parish 
^. March 9 accordg. to Act of P. entitled an A. fr. burjang in woollen. 

1694. Margreat the wife of Thomas Stuart bur : 8 June. 
1705. Katherine Mordaunt ye daughter of S! Charles Mordaunt was buried 

May 27^, 1705. 
1 7 13. Thom Steward was buried April 2^^}- 






1720. Ann Steward daughter of Thomas & Mary Steward bur : Sep. 16. 
1723. Anne ye daughtr. of Ml Thomas Steward & Mary his wife buryed 

8 Sep. ^ * 

1726. Elizabeth Everard infant was buried Dec. 6. 
1734. Grace Steward an infant bur : July 25. 

1739. Hannah Steward infant bur : Jan. 3, 

1740. Thomas Steward bur ; March 25. 

1744. Mary Steward widow aged 84 buried Jan. 14. 

1745. John Steward buried Dec. 5. 

1868. Charles. David Brereton, Rector of Little Massingham, bur. 21 Oct., 

aged 78. 
1880. Frances Brereton, widow, buried 22*11 March, 1880. 



'^f[(^ LITBRATtrEB.'^VJ^^3 j 

MifliniOBAX Pabya: Pm avd FSBSsirr. Br the ^mr. 
BoiiAld F. McLeod^ Aotiag GfaM>laiB U the PoMi^ t 
Gjfinis. London : Waterlow & Sons, Limited, London i 
Will, 1882. ! 

Teds ii another . interesting oontrihntlen to Norfolk ; 
history. Owing to the socia! rerolntions of the past two > 
osotnnes ham^ ohanjeed the relatiye importaaoe of [ 
different parts of England, it is diAenlt form to reatise 
the prominent part xoimerly plaj ed hj Norfolk men in 
the history of onr ooontfj. The many fortified 
mansions and stately manor honses, and tha 
nnmerons ohnrehes whioh dot onr eonnty, suggest to na 
that hi medi»Tal times Norfolk was the home of an in- 
fluential and powerful gentry dwelling in or near Tillages 
whicl\ had a oonsiderahle popular on, who were not sotoly 
dependent for their subsistenoe on growing eom o^ rearing 
sheep ^nd oattle.' Nearly erery parish in Norfolk fhmishea 
materials whioh witness to the former political preeminenee : 
of the oounty. Of this the work before us of 160 hand- 
somely printed quarto pages affords a notable ei^Msple. The . 
book is dlTided into seyeral parts, llie first giTJM a ; 
history of the lords of the manor, and the second an 
aooount of former distinguished residents of the parish. 
The third is dsToted to paroohial' inforsiation, the fourth 
to St Andrew's Ohuroh, the fifth to the rectors, the sixth 
to Oastleaere Priory Manor, the serenth to St. Mtry'a 
Priory, the eighth to Greyke Abbey, and the last to the 
parish registers from 1658 to 16dO. The authentioated 
mstory of Matsingbam Parra may he said te oommenea 
witii the records of its i>ayment of Danegelt, and of Bar 
Harold, son of Godwin, and certain JSnglish freemen 
having lordships and lands there ; but our author yery 
properly prefaoss it with a brief narratire to stiow how 
thoso eyeots were brought about. After the defeat of 
Harold at S^^nlao, mucQ of West Norfolk, ootitiguoua 
to the fastnesses of the Fens, maintaiued its 
independenoe till the dislodgement of Here ward t 
from Ely. Orgar and Soula, Bi^lish freemen of Little j 
ICassingham, were among those who " acknowledged ne I 
superior, paid no tribute, and continued to manage their I 
estates according to the example of immemorial custom.*' I 
Scula*s lands, after the stamping out of the opposition 
to William, were assigned to Kudo, lord of Tatteehan* 
Lnoolnshire. Orgar's estate, with part of Harold'a 
lordship, was given to Eustace, Count of Boulogne. The 
other part of King Harold's demesne the Conqueror kept 
in his own hands. Eustace, lord of Little MassiDgham, a 
descendant of Charlemagne, deltyered bis lauds te 
Wido Angevin, as sub- tenant, who ** seems te 
have chosen Little Massingham for his fayorite 
residenoe." His son Boger took the surname of ^^H^ 
Massingham," and Boger^s son Bobert took the name el 
" De Thorpe, on account of the estate which he owned near 
Wymondham." This Sir Robert De Thorpe came forward 
to assist William, Earl of Warren, in the endowment of 
the beautiful Cluniao Priory at Oaitleacre. His Bon,£fe 
" * of the priory, and Hugh's son 



Hugh, was also a benefactor 
John, by his marrlsge frith the daughter 
Bobert De Creyke, added the Crei^ esUtes 
possessions. Sir John 's son, Bobert 

| illlJbiau.l«nU^ " AI 
Duke of Norfolk this work is dedicated. In 
the 16th osntury the manor passed successively 
into the posiession of the Capeis and MordauntSy 
and ooneening members of the latter family 
our author has collected together many interesting 
memorials of their prmninenoe in the great nationiu 
struggle during the Stuart period. It is almost needlese to 
say that they espoused tbe cause of the king. Thie 
pm of the work is exceedingly interesting, as it consisli 
In fact of a series of well- written biographical sketdhee 
embracing references to many memorable events in EogUsh 
history. The other parts are worked out in an equally 
thorough manner, and the writer has done his utmost to 
invest the simple annals of the parish with an attractive 
garb. We could have wished • that our aathoc 
had' given more copious extracts from the pam^ 
phlsts of the Bey. C. D. Brereten, the rector of 
Massingham more than fifty years ago, who was amonc* 
the fbremost to call attention to the degraded eonditioQ vi 
the peasantry, and to advooite social reforms, partioularlr^ 
of the Poor Law. Our author tajs **the state of 
education in Little Massingham in 18S6 " is thus described 
by the Bev. 0. D. Brereton: ** There are oulv two 
laborers in the parish who can read. We have had some 
dilfioul^ in flUing up the parish offices of oonstsbie and 
clerk. It has been a work of difficulty to induce parents 
to permit their children to be tavght Had I not possessed 
aivantsges my attempts must have failed." Mr. 
McLeod has done his work well and has produced n 
a parechial history which, unencumbered with ted'ous 
notes, may be adopted as a pattern by all whe desire that 
the results of their re»ean»kes in stmilar fields of labor \ 
may he read after they are published. 

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».iTai]tAgM niy attampta must hare fAilnd." Mr. 

McLeod bM dona bla work well ajid bas ^srodncAd ft i 

a piir<»cbid hialory wbicb^ utietictuaibered with tad oub 

noto9, m«y he adopted ma & piitt^ta by all wbft deairo tb^t 

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